John A. Burns School of Medicine
651 Ilalo Street, BSB 110
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 692-1446


*T. Matsui, MD, PhD (Chair)—cardiovascular research
*V. B. Alarcon, PhD—mammalian developmental biology
*R. Allsopp, PhD—telomerase biology
*B. Fogelgren, PhD—cell and molecular biology of kidney diseases
*J. Higa, PhD—physiology
S. Labrash, CFSP—plastination, willed body program, continuing education
*S. Lozanoff, PhD—renal and craniofacial morphogenesis
*Y. Marikawa, PhD—mammalian embryogenesis, cell differentiation, and body pattern formation
*A. Maunakea, PhD—epigenetics in disease state
*D. Merritt, PhD—aging and exercise physiology
D. Miles, MD, PhD—neurology, neuroanatomy
*S. Moisyadi, PhD—mammalian transgenesis
*J. Owens, PhD—new tools for improved genome editing
*N. Polgar, PhD—impact of modulated exocyst activity on Glu4 trafficking in metabolic tissues
K. Schunke, PhD—cardiovascular research
*J. Urschitz, PhD—gene therapy, obesity, pregnancy
*M. Ward, PhD—sperm physiology and genetics, assisted reproduction technology
*W. S. Ward, PhD—DNA structure, embryogenesis, and sperm biology
Y. Yamauchi, PhD—genetics, assisted reproduction technology
*Y. Yamazaki, DVM, PhD—oocyte development, primordial germ cell biology
*Y. Zhang, PhD—cardiovascular research

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

P. Hoffmann, PhD—selenoproteins in inflammation, immunity; cancer
T. Huang, PhD—in vitro fertilization (clinical)
O. LeSaux, PhD—cell and molecular biology, genetics and development pathology
M. Tallquist, PhD—development and disease of the cardiovascular system
B. Willcox, PhD—geriatric medicine
J. Yang, PhD—molecular regulation of muscular and skeletal formation and development
M. Yoshizawa, PhD—evolutionary developmental biology, neurobiology and behavioral adaptation

Adjunct/Clinical Faculty

G. Aytac, MD, PhD
H. Davis, PhD
P. Davy, PhD
J. DeMeo, DMD, MS
K. S. K. Fong, PhD
U. Y. Lee, PhD
R. Mann, PhD
G. M. Mawe, PhD
Y. Oba, PhD
M. Ortega, PhD
C. Rettenmeier, PhD
A. Stenger, PhD
C. Stickley, PhD
E. Stickley, MD
K. Tamura, PhD, ATC
S. Tunali, PhD, MD
C. F. T. Yamauchi (Uyehara), PhD

Degree Offered: MS in developmental and reproductive biology, PhD in developmental and reproductive biology

The Academic Program

The Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology supports the interdisciplinary nature of modern biomedical research and exposes undergraduate medical and graduate students to the type of academic research environment they will encounter in their professional career. The department was formed in acknowledgement of the MD program’s ongoing need for discipline-based expertise in the areas of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and reproductive biology, which provides a broad base of knowledge in biological structure and function from the molecular level to the body as a whole.

The department offers upper- and lower-level courses in biochemistry and physiology as preparatory course work for prospective medical students as well as 500-level electives in human anatomy and physiology for medical students that supplement knowledge gained in the tutorials. The training of medical students and post-graduate training of physicians would not be possible without the department’s Willed Body Program.

Students seeking health-related careers in areas such as dentistry, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, physical and occupational therapy, public health, and kinesiology need many of the department’s physiology and biochemistry courses. Formal programs of study leading to MS and PhD degrees in developmental and reproductive biology are also offered. These students may elect to conduct research at the molecular or cellular level, on organs or on the whole animal, qualified graduate students have the opportunity to work with faculty from other JABSOM departments and programs within the university system as well.

The department also hosts the Graduate Program in Developmental and Reproductive Biology (DRB). The DRB MS program requires a combination of course work and original research, the latter forming the basis of the student’s thesis.

The DRB PhD program also requires a combination of coursework and original research. It prepares students for research careers at universities, hospitals, government laboratories, and large pharmaceutical companies and for teaching careers in universities, community colleges, and high schools. Both MS and PhD candidates must take a written qualifying examination, and PhD candidates must take an oral comprehensive examination. The MS and PhD candidates must also submit and defend their thesis or dissertation, respectively. PhD graduates usually obtain postdoctoral positions elsewhere as further preparation for a career in teaching and research at the university level.
The requirements for admission can be found at the Graduate Division website: and the DRB Graduate Program website:

The department’s developmental and reproductive biology faculty are world-renowned for their research in the areas of gametogenesis, fertilization, reproductive endocrinology, and developmental biology. Department faculty established the Institute for Biogenesis Research,, a Center of Biomedical Excellence focused on the study of mammalian developmental and reproductive biology. Department faculty also have appointments in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, JABSOM Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, and the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center.