Marjorie K. Leimomi Mala Mau, MD

Marjorie K. Leimomi Mala Mau, MD, is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research (a.k.a the "Center") and is the founding Chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, the first clinical department in an accredited medical school in the USA dedicated to indigenous health. The Center's scientific focus remains investigating health disparities among Native Hawaiians (NH), Pacific Islanders and Native populations in the Pacific region (i.e. Alaska Native, New Zealand Māori). The Center's current research includes cardiometabolic health disparities including diabetes mellitus (DM), stroke, epigenomics of DM, gestational DM and risk for autism as well as research training activities and community engagement programs such as our "101 training series" for community health workers. In the past 20+ years of NIH funding at UH, Dr. Mau has worked collaboratively with many talented research teams to advance the science of health disparities research among NHPIs in diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. She has also served to mentor scores of researchers from diverse backgrounds to pursue health professional careers that will aid in turning the tides of these health disparities towards optimal health and wellness throughout the Pacific region. Dr. Mau also practices as an endocrinologist (ABIM-certified) with medical licensure in both Hawai‘i and Alaska. She provides didactic teaching lectures to a range of students from undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral and early stage physicians and researchers. Her passion for clinical work and research is second only to her passion for ocean voyaging on traditional double-hulled canoes, also known as "wa‘a kaulua". Dr. Mau currently serves as a board member of the "'Ohana Wa‘a" (The Family of Canoes) and has also sailed on Hokule‘a (2007) and Hikianalia (2014) as its medical officer. Contact Dr. Mau at

Andrea H. Hermosura, PhD,

Andrea H. Hermosura, PhD, is a Native Hawaiian Assistant Professor at the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, and licensed clinical psychologist at the Queen’s Medical Center and the Physician Center Mililani. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with her PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2014. The majority of her research focuses on ways to better understand and address the patterns of health disparities among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Ultimately, she would like to use these findings to develop culturally relevant interventions to improve the healthcare quality and safety for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi. Contact Dr. Hermosura at

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, PhD

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, PhD, is a Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a licensed clinical psychologist. He is a clinical and translational researcher who has led multiple, federally-funded research projects aimed at describing, explaining, preventing, or treating cardiometabolic-related medical conditions in Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to achieve health equity. With colleagues, he has developed national and international research training programs to support Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other science-underrepresented students and post-doctoral fellows in pursuing a health science research career. His work has had an impact on the local, regional, national, and international levels to bring systemic improvements to health care delivery, clinical outcomes, and policy. His strong commitment to achieving health equity and improving the health of Indigenous communities are also reflected in his services on the national level as past Chair for the Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (IRINAH) network and his appointment to the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. In Hawai‘i, he has served on boards of organizations with a mission to improve population and Native Hawaiian health to include the Queen’s Health Systems, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, and Papa Ola Lokahi Native Hawaiian Health Board. Recently, he is a co-lead of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response, Recovery, Resiliency Team for Hawai‘i. As a Native Hawaiian, he is passionate about improving the health of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and has made a life-long commitment to improving their social and cultural determinants of health. Contact Dr. Kaholokula at

Claire Ing, DrPH

Claire Ing, DrPH, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A Burns School of Medicine. Her long held academic and research interests are in health disparities informed by a social determinants framework. She received a BA in Anthropology from Pomona College, an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a DrPH in Community-based and Translational Research from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Ing served as the coordinator for several community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects at the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. Notable among these was a 12-year, NIMHD-funded, CBPR initiative to address obesity and related disparities in Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Peoples. She collaborated with community and academic partners to adapt, test, and disseminate two culturally congruent, evidence-based health promotion programs. As an Assistant Professor since 2015, she has secured funding to test the effectiveness of a semi-structured social support group in maintaining or improving diabetes management, adapt an evidence-based healthy lifestyle intervention for web-based delivery, and examine psychosocial determinants of hypertension. She was awarded a career development supplement from NHLBI to examine the impact of neighborhoods on systolic blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk in Native Hawaiians. This supplement also aims to better understand how Native Hawaiians perceive their neighborhoods in relation to their ability to make healthy lifestyle changes. Dr. Ing was awarded a K01 from NHLBI to examine the use of systems science and community-based participatory research to understand and address cardiovascular health disparities in Native Hawaiians. Through this award, Dr. Ing will improve her knowledge and skill in 1) the scientifically rigorous examination of multilevel determinants of cardiovascular health, 2) use of systems science theory and methods concentrating on group-based model building and community-based system dynamics, 3) hypertension and CVD prevention and management, and 4) Native Hawaiian community engagement. Contact Dr. Ing at

Rebecca Delafield, PhD

Rebecca Delafield, PhD, is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine. Her research interests include maternal and perinatal health, health and healthcare disparities impacting Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (NH/PI) communities, implicit racial bias, and community-based participatory research. She has a BA from Macalester College, completed her MPH in Maternal & Child Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2019. Contact Dr. Delafield at

Dee-Ann Carpenter, M.D.

Dee-Ann Carpenter, M.D. is a Native Hawaiian physician board-certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Carpenter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health and the Office of Medical Education, at the University of Hawai‘i, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), of which she is an alumna. Her clinical practice is in the University Medicine Faculty Practice in the JABSOM Department of Internal Medicine, with whom she did her Internal Medicine residency. She is active on the Cultural Competency Curriculum Development team that teaches JABSOM medical students and residents. Her research interests lie in quality improvement in healthcare and diabetes in poorly resourced areas. She is the PI of a multi-disciplinary group within the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, working on Diabetes and Resilience Education in Emerging Healthcare Professionals who care for Homeless. She is active in the American Diabetes Association Hawai‘i Leadership Board, and a past board member of the ‘Ahahui o na Kauka (Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians). Contact Dr. Carpenter at

Kapuaola Gellert, PhD

Kapuaola Gellert is an epidemiologist with research interests in the effects on cardiovascular disease of modifiable risk factors such as adiposity, diet, physical activity, and sleep. She did her pre and post doctoral training at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a Hawaiian who grew up in Hawai`i, Kapuaola recognized the disparate burden of chronic disease among Hawaiians compared to other race groups living in Hawai`i. Her long term career goal is to achieve a higher excellence of research and research translation especially in minority communities, through strong epidemiologic methods and collaboration with other public health scientists. Contact Dr. Gellert at