October 15, 2005

Excellence in Research and Education at the John A. Burns School of Medicine: A Tribute to Edwin Cadman’s Vision

T.S. Shomaker, MD, David Easa, MD, Rosanne Harrigan, EdD, Marla Berry, PhD, Duane Gubler, Naleen Andrade, MD, Marjorie Mau, MD, Neal Palafox, MD, Patricia L Blanchette, MD, Martin Rayner, PhD, Richard Kasuya, MD, Kelly Withy, MD, and James Davis, PhD

Hawaii Medical Journal

Introduction:  When Edwin Cadman came to the University of Hawaii (UH) in 1999 to serve as dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), he articulated a clear vision for its future. Dr. Cadman saw tremendous potential in our students, staff, faculty, and community. He envisioned JABSOM setting the standard for medical schools with an Asian-Pacific focus, and in doing so he inspired a collaborative approach to reaching new heights of accomplishment and productivity. Dr. Cadman wanted to build upon JABSOM’s earned reputation for excellence in education and expand opportunities for biomedical research. He wanted to bring new advances in medicine and technology to Hawaii and the Pacific Basin, transforming
JABSOM into a premiere research institution that could address the healthcare needs of the State’s diverse communities not only by training primary care physicians but also by conducting culturally competent state-of-the-art research. Dr. Cadman encouraged community participation in numerous arenas, embracing the biotechnology industry and welcoming
community engagement in research and education programs, never losing sight of his vision of improved healthcare for Hawaii’s people. As soon as he arrived, Dr. Cadman designed a strategic plan for JABSOM and set out to achieve its objectives.

During the last several years, the medical school has experienced unprecedented growth in biomedical research programs while continuing to uphold standards of excellence in education and training. The recently completed $150M Biosciences Complex and medical school campus
in Kakaako is merely one of the tangible achievements arising from Dr. Cadman’s tenure as dean. Its offices, laboratories and space for biotechnology companies create an environment where world-class scientists and care givers can work together, integrating research, education, and community- based programs that directly benefit Hawaii’s people. In addition to envisioning and working to see the new Kaka’ako campus built Dr. Cadman led the JABSOM faculty to new heights of productivity. Research grants and contracts increased 522% from
1999 through 2004. Annual dollars received increased from $3.2 million to $19.8 million (Figure 1). In 2003 and 2004, researchers obtained long-term grants totaling $62 million. Moreover, the number of faculty at JABSOM faculty has increased by 24% in the past five years (Table 1). Fifteen renowned scientists have joined JABSOM’s faculty, bringing their
established research programs, independent funding and stellar expertise, which has, in turn, attracted other distinguished faculty and promising students to the university. Several new academic departments have emerged, including the departments of Native Hawaiian Health,
Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and Geriatric Medicine. Most importantly, Dr. Cadman invigorated JABSOM’s research and educational activities, capitalizing on our strengths and enhancing our capacity to forge links in local communities and in the broader Asia-Pacific region. This paper seeks to provide a brief description of some of the areas of excellence in research and education that have continued to flourish under Dr. Cadman’s tenure as JABSOM’s dean.

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