UH Med Now
2019: Catching up with leadership changes — promotions from within — at the University of Hawaiʻi medical school
Above, Dr. Gerschenson, Dr. Matsui and Dr. Thompson
In 2019, Dean Jerris Hedges and faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa medical school have new leaders in two departments and a new Associate Dean for Research.
Mariana Gerschenson, PhD, has been promoted from Director to Associate Dean for Research at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). She oversees 14 research centers and institutes and five graduate (MS and PhD) programs and is responsible for the strategic planning and development of research at the school. Dr. Gerschenson is also a Professor who heads the Diabetes Research Center at JABSOM. She joined UH in 2002 after working as a Program Officer at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.Takashi Matsui, MD, PhD, has been promoted from Professor and Associate Chair to Chair of Anatomy, Biochemistry and & Physiology at JABSOM. The department provides medical students with a basic understanding of the structure of the human body and also provides undergraduate level instruction in anatomy for UH paramedical and biological science programs. Dr. Matsui is an expert in the field of cardiovascular research. He joined UH in 2010 after serving as an Assistant Professor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Karen Thompson, MD, Professor of Pathology, has been promoted to Chair of Pathology at JABSOM. The department trains graduate health students and medical students and MD Residents in the study of disease. Dr. Thompson, who graduated from Kalani High School before pursuing college and medical school, joined the UH faculty in 2000 as Associate Professor of Pathology after beginning her career as a Pediatric Pathologist with Pan Pacific Pathologists, LLC, at Kapiʻolani Medical Center. The three new leaders coming aboard during 2018 joined Dr. Alan Otsuki, who in 2017 became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He assists the Dean in overseeing and coordinating medical education and is responsible for strategically developing and aligning educational programs. Prior to joining JABSOM, Dr. Otsuki was the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in North Haven Connecticut. Until he interviewed for the position, he had never even been to the Islands. He was drawn to our multi-cultural community and the University of Hawai’i medical school’s strong commitment to research and clinical care that focuses on reducing health problems among people in Hawai’i and the Pacific.
Learn more about the Dean’s leadership team.