UH Med Now

Valentine’s Day: A University of Hawaiʻi medical school love story

Date: February 13th, 2018 in Faculty, Grad PhD Students, JABSOM News, Research, Student Life    Print or PDF

Two JABSOM researchers met 10 years ago at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and have been happily married for the past 5.5 years.

Pictured: Scientists, husband and wife Mukesh and Komal. Deborah Manog photo.

They both grew up in Punjab, a Northern section of India, about 150 miles from each other. Both showed a stunning aptitude for science. But it wasn’t until they were adults, each working on their PhDs at a medical school 7,377.5 miles away in Hawai’i that Komal Arora and Mukesh Kumar met one another.

In 2008, while traveling in groups between classes held on the campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) in Kakaʻako and at UH Mānoa, they started to get to know one another. Eventually they met for lunch in JABSOM’s cafeteria. In 2012 they were married in India. In 2013, they each were awarded their PhDs at the UH Mānoa Commencement Exercises.

Pictured are Komal and Mukesh at their 2013 UHM Commencement

Komal and Mukesh after being awarded their PhDs at the 2013 UH Mānoa Commencement

Mukesh and Komal

Mukesh and Komal pictured at the JABSOM Campus. Deborah Manog photo.

Now, this Valentine’s Day, Dr. Komal Arora and Dr. Mukesh Kumar are celebrating 10 years together. They have been married for five and a half years, and have a two year-old daughter, Shanaya.

The family at their daughter’s birthday party.

Mukesh holds a degree in veterinary science and a doctorate in Tropical Medicine. Most recently, we have profiled his ongoing research into how to protect the children of pregnant women who contract the Zika virus. Komal Arora is a neuroscientist who is unlocking secrets into how plaque in the brain of Alzheimer’s Disease patients might be controlled. She is co-author of a new article about her work in the Journal of Neurochemistry.


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