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University of Hawaii Cancer Center

Cancer Biology Program

University of Hawai'i at Manoa
701 ILALO Street, Room 444 
Honolulu, Hawai'i  96813

Office: (808) 564-5843 Lab: (808) 440-5236

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joeOur mission is to understand the underlying mechanisms that control cancer cell metastasis. We are particularly focused on the role of RSK2 and PEA-15 in complex with ERK MAP kinase in cancer cell invasion and migration. More recently our work has extended to the function of RasGRP1 in skin cancer. In collaboration with Chemists in the Natural Products and Experimental Therapeutics program we are developing new drugs to target cancer based on our basic research findings. Currently we are investigating the dysregulation of cell signalling in skin cancer, renal cancers, neuroblastoma and glioblastoma.

Funding for our research has been provided by The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Friends of the Cancer Research Center among others. Here you can get acquainted with our work through our publications and statement of research interests.  In addition, take a moment to note who is in the lab and some of our collaborators. Our lab is on the beautiful island of Oahu and you can find directions to us here. Thanks for visiting!

Sequencing Core


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Joe W. Ramos, Ph.D.
Program Director, Cancer Biology


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Our recent work with Dr. Maria Contel examining the activity of a Tiatanocene-Gold compound in kidney cancer Organometallics

lab folk
We welcome our international interns Astrid, Michael, and Krsitina!

See Florian and Joe's review of RSK function in metastasis in Cancer Research.

Congrats to Lauren and Maisel on successfully defending their PhDs!

Amrish shows the importance of RasGRP1 function in squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) in his recent paper in Carcinogenesis.

Behold! The New Cancer Center Building! Take a photo tour of the Center Here!
Asia and Shirley report in JBC that RSK2 can promote cancer cell migration through effects on integrin activation. See new work on PEA-15 and RSK2 listed at NLM's Pubmed. Learn more about PEA-15 at our UCSD-Nature Molecule page.


"The first principle (of scientific integrity) is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool..."- Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.


Web page created and maintained by Joe W. Ramos

Revised: September 2014

2014, All rights reserved.