Finalists for director's position at Pacific Biomedical Research Center invited to UH Manoa for meetings, public presentations

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Joanne Clark, (808) 956-6133
UH Manoa Chancellor's Office
Posted: Jan 20, 2004

Four finalist candidates have been identified for the position of director for the Pacific Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) at UH Manoa. They have been invited for campus interviews and presentations beginning next week.

Search advisory committee chair Klaus Keil expressed his gratitude to the committee for identifying four outstanding finalists. "The cutting-edge research carried out at PBRC is of vital importance to the University of Hawaiʻi‘s future in the biosciences," Keil said, "and the committee is pleased to recommend for the directorship four excellent candidates who can carry this work forward. We urge the campus community to attend the open sessions to learn more about them before we present our final comments to the Chancellor."

The four finalists were selected from a pool of nearly four dozen applicants and nominees. They are:

Robert S. Aronstam — Director and Senior Scientist, Guthrie Research Institute, Sayre, Pennsylvania; Research Professor, State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York; Coordinator, Integrated Medical Sciences Department, SUNY, Clinical Campus, Binghamton, New York. Aronstam received his BA from Colombia College of Columbia University in New York, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester Center for Brain Research. In addition, he did post-doctoral training at the University of Maryland Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Brenda Claiborne — Professor of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio. Claiborne studied biology at the University of California, Davis, and received her BA in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, and MS in Biology from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

Kelvin Davies — James E. Birren Chair of Gerontology, Professor of Molecular & Computational Biology, Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the Andrus Gerontology Research Institute at the University of Southern California. Davies was initially education in Great Britain (B.Ed.), and then received a BS and MS from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he did post-doctoral work at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School.

Michael Johnson — Associate Director, Center for Structural Biology, and Director, Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, College of Pharmacy, and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago. Johnson received his BS in Physics from the University of Wyoming, an MS in Physics from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern‘s Biophysics Program.

Additional biographical information about the candidates and about the search process may be found on the Web at Each of the candidates will be in Honolulu for meetings and a public presentation beginning next week on the following schedule:

Kelvin Davies, Monday, January 26

Michael Johnson, Monday, February 9

Brenda Claiborne, Thursday, February 12

Robert Aronstam, Thursday, February 19

Open sessions will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m. Each candidate will do a 45-minute presentation on his/her own research. This will be followed by a moderated open forum with a 15-minute question and answer period regarding the research, with another 30 minutes on the research and/or the candidate‘s vision for the Pacific Biomedical Research Center.

All presentations will be held in room B-103 of the Biomedical Sciences Building. Interested members of the university community are invited and encouraged to attend.

In addition to chair Klaus Keil, members of the search advisory committee are: Gillian Bryant-Greenwood, Professor, Cellular and Molecular Biology, PBRC; Patricia Couvillon, Associate Researcher, Bekesy Lab, PBRC, and Associate Professor, Psychology; Michael Hadfield, Director, Kewalo Marine Laboratory and Professor, Zoology; Kenneth Kaneshiro, Director, Center for Conservation Research and Training, and Director, Hawaiian Evolutionary Biology Program, and Researcher, PBRC; Jo-ann Leong, Director and Professor, Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology; Claudia Lupp, Kewalo Marine Laboratory student; Walter P. Niemczura, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectrometer Facilities Manager, Department of Chemistry; David Watumull, President and CEO, Hawaiʻi Biotech, Inc.

For more information, visit: