Scholarship fund to honor Kerry T. Yasunobu

Interned during WW2, Yasunobu served U.S. Army, University of Hawai'i

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Dir of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Mrs. Kikue Yasunobu, (808) 988-7527
Posted: Dec 15, 2009

Dr. Kerry T. Yasunobu
Dr. Kerry T. Yasunobu
A scholarship fund is being established to honor University of Hawai’i emeritus professor, Kerry T. Yasunobu, (1925-2009), who died October 4, 2009 at Straub Clinic & Hospital at the age of 83.
Dr. Yasunobu arrived at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1958, and made a 30-year commitment to the university during a time of tremendous growth. Recruited to the Department of Chemistry, he later developed and led the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and helped to found the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).
“The scientific community and the University of Hawai’i have lost one of its fundamental developers and a steadfast supporter,” said Richard J. Guillory, Emeritus Professor, Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology, and a colleague of Yasunobu.
Yasunobu, a recipient of the University of Hawai‘i’s Excellence in Research, studied the biochemical mechanisms which are fundamental in the understanding of living processes.
“His research laid the foundation in learning pathways of photosynthesis in plants as well as the use and disposition of drugs used in humans”, according to his colleague, Nadhipuram V. Bhagavan, PhD.
“In deciphering these pathways, he established methods in studying the structure and function of protein molecules,” said Bhagavan, Professor, Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology.
Dr. Yasunobu’s research was supported for many years with substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the American Heart Association.
Joyce Tsunoda, Emeritus Chancellor for the University of Hawai’i Community Colleges, was one of Yasunobu’s students. “He challenged and motivated us to stand on our own feet and to learn and discover each in our own way,” said Tsunoda.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Yasunobu and his family were interned in Idaho during World War Two. In 1944, Yasunoba joined the U.S. Military Intelligence Service Language School and became a Translator with the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section, General Headquarters, stationed in Tokyo, Japan.
Yasunobu is survived by his wife, Kikue; son, Steven; daughter, Chrissie Shimabukuro (Sy); grandson, Tyler Shimabukuro and many nieces and nephews. A private memorial service will be held.
Donations in Professor Yasunobu’s memory may be made to the Kerry T. Yasunobu Memorial Fund, with checks made to the University of Hawai’i Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828-0270. The funds will be used to establish a scholarship at the medical school.

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