Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology

Introduction | Faculty & Staff | Courses

Tropical medicine is the study of diseases that occur more commonly in the tropical regions of the world. However, in today’s era of globalization and modern transportation, diseases that were once confined to the tropics have spread geographically and played a significant role in the 20th century global resurgence of infectious diseases. As such, research in the area of tropical medicine and medical microbiology has greatly increased in importance in the past 20 years.

Tropical medicine faculty conduct studies on infectious organisms and the diseases they cause by employing a multidisciplinary approach which includes immunology, ecology, epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention, control, treatment, soci-oecological systems, human ecology, microbial and vector ecology, environmental change, and participatory action research to answer fundamental questions associated with pathogenesis of these diseases. These studies cab be laboratory-based, field-based, clincal-based, or include a combination of all three. The field of tropical medcine requires knowledge of virology, bacteriology, parasitology, entomology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, epidemiology, ecology, behavioral science and clinical medicine.

Pharmacology is a medical science concerned with the effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms. The subject embraces knowledge of the chemistry actions, absorption rates, excretions, and uses of drugs. Traditionally, the greatest interests in drugs have been with the health professions. Today, however, knowledge of pharmacology and the allied field of toxicology are relevant to all segments of society.

The faculty employs a multidisciplinary approach, including immunology, pathogenesis, ecology, epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention, control, treatment, socio-ecological systems, human ecology, microbial and vector ecology, environmental change, and participatory action research to answer fundamental questions associated with the pathogenesis of these diseases. These studies can be laboratory-based, field-based, clinical-based, or include a combination of all three. The field of tropical medicine requires knowledge of virology, bacteriology, parasitology, entomology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, epidemiology, ecology, behavioral science and clinical medicine.

Research activities in pharmacology include studies on plant-derived natural products with a focus on immunostimulation for cancer therapy, mechanisms of protection against vascular injury using animal models of pulmonary oxygen toxicity, and high altitude pulmonary edema.

A major goal of the department is to provide Asian and Pacific countries the expertise needed to expand laboratory and epidemiologic capacity in tropical infectious diseases research. The department also has active research programs with several community hospitals and collaborates closely with the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, providing instruction and expertise in bioterrorism preparedness and diagnosis of infectious diseases using the latest technology.

Phone: (808) 692-1600
Email: nerurkar@hawaii.edu
Address:
Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology & Pharmacology
651 Ilalo Street
BioScience Building, Suite 320
Honolulu, HI 96813-5534
Website Link: http://blog.hawaii.edu/tropicalmedicine/

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John A. Burns School of Medicine • University of Hawai`i at Manoa
651 Ilalo Street • Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
© 2008