Jellyfish researcher Angel Yanagihara chosen as a Fulbright Specialist

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Dr. Angel Yanagihara, (808) 956-8328
Assistant Research Professor, JABSOM, SOEST
Posted: Apr 28, 2016

Dr. Angel Yanagihara in her UH Manoa lab.
Dr. Angel Yanagihara in her UH Manoa lab.
Yanagihara in Cork, Ireland. Photo: Michael O'Donoghue.
Yanagihara in Cork, Ireland. Photo: Michael O'Donoghue.

UH Mānoa researcher Angel Yanagihara has been selected as a Fulbright Specialist by the J. William Fulbright Council for International Exchange of Scholars, on behalf of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

As the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Specialists Program (FSP) is designed to support highly qualified U.S. faculty and professionals with expertise in specific disciplines.  They engage in collaborative projects that focus on unmet needs and challenges, and build and strengthen capacity in curriculum and faculty development at institutions of higher education in more than 100 countries.

Dr. Yanagihara is an Assistant Research Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at UHM.

Her expertise and innovative technologies were specifically sought in a newly approved Fulbright project proposed by researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

Said Yanagihara, “I first met the National University of Ireland Galway research faculty member and fisheries researchers after they requested that I be invited to participate in a Canadian Broadcasting Channel (CBC) and BBC documentary titled ‘Jellyfish Rule.’

They flew Dr. Yanagihara to Ireland. “We actually did some novel experiments at that time under the auspices and with the funding support of the two broadcast networks. This research project is an outcome of that pilot work,” she said.

Now, Yanagihara will travel again to Ireland, to work with faculty and students on research efforts aimed at addressing dangerous stings of the lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata). Increasing numbers of lion’s mane jellyfish in Dublin Bay have led to beach closures and have been linked to serious Irukandji syndrome symptoms in swimmers. Yanagihara will also test innovative new approaches to prevent salmon deaths in offshore fisheries following exposure to massive jellyfish blooms.

“There is a critical need to mitigate the negative economic and public health impacts of increasing numbers and frequencies of jellyfish blooms in coastal zones of Ireland. I look forward to sharing the expertise and break through technologies I developed at the University of Hawaiʻi, in collaborative efforts to address the serious impacts of jellyfish blooms,” she said.

As a Fulbright Specialist, Yanagihara will be considered for additional future overseas assignments that require her unique expertise during the next five years.

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