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University of Hawaii at Hilo

Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Hilo, HI


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University of Hawaii at Hilo


The University of Hawai'i at Hilo

The University of Hawai'i at Hilo (UH Hilo) is the only institution in the central Pacific to offer the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree program. It also offers the Pharm.D. degree program and the M.S. degree program in Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree Program

Using the extraordinary intellectual, biological, physical, and cultural diversity of its geographic region as a focus of investigation and study, the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo is proud to offer a Ph.D. degree program in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. This program, which was inaugurated in 2011, provides graduate training in the pharmaceutical sciences, including medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and pharmacognosy. The college has strong research programs in "Cancer Biology" and "Natural Product Drug Discovery." The Ph.D. degree program is aimed at students with B.S., M.S., or Pharm.D. degrees, and those currently working in the field. Students will be prepared for senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical sciences in academia, research, education, government, industry, and related fields, and become leaders who can identify, research, and solve problems related to the pharmaceutical sciences. The Ph.D. degree program is designed to foster student development as critical thinkers, team players, self-directed interdisciplinary scholars, and communicators.


The faculty includes cancer researchers, Dr. Linda Connelly (role of inflammation in tumor progression and metastasis), Dr. Aaron Jacobs (cell signaling and characterization of novel heat shock-induced gene products), Dr. Dana-Lynn Koomoa-Lange (calcium signaling changes in disease states) and Dr. Ingo Koomoa-Lange (cancer cell biology). Faculty members who are medicinal chemists include Dr. Dianqing Sun (organic synthesis of anti-cancer and anti-microbial drugs) and Dr. Daniela Gündisch (organic synthesis of central nervous system drugs and development of in vivo tracers for imaging). Dr. Leng Chee Chang's work on phytochemistry centers on the isolation of novel molecules from plants with anticancer and other biological activities. Dr. Ghee Tan's multidisciplinary drug discovery work focuses on the identification and mechanistic evaluation of anticancer and antimalarial natural products from terrestrial and marine sources. Dr. Susan Jarvi studies host genetics in resistance to avian malaria and is actively involved in rat lung worm disease. Dr. Mahavir Chougule focuses on targeted therapies for lung cancer and asthma utilizing nanoparticles as a drug delivery system. Dr. Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit is involved in mathematical analysis of health care outcomes.

Research Facilities

The research facilities are located on the main UH Hilo campus and at the Waiakea research facility a few miles away. These facilities house all the scientific equipment and instruments needed for molecular isolation and structural analyses, including 400 MHz multinuclear NMR spectrometers, LC-MC systems with ESI and APCI interfaces, LC-qTOF high mass accuracy mass spectrometer, GC-triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, X-ray diffractometer, polarimeter, FT-IR, several UV-VIS spectrophotometers, and HPLC systems (analytical and preparative). Pharmaceutics equipment includes a NiComp 380 particle analyzer and a Nano DeBEE homogenizer while a microwave reactor is available for chemical synthesis. Equipment for cellular analysis and molecular biology includes a Perkin Elmer Operetta high content imaging system, Leica confocal microscopes, flow cytometers, multiple research grade upright, inverted and stereo microscopes, centrifuges (high speed, ultra- and microcentrifuges), a GenePix microarray scanner, real-time qPCR cyclers, and a variety of microplate readers with state-of-the-art detection technologies based on photometry, fluorometry, luminometry, time-resolved fluorescence and fluorescence polarization. All our BSL-2 labs are equipped for the growth of microbes and mammalian cells in culture.


UH Hilo is located on the windward side of the Big Island of Hawai'i in the bayside town of Hilo. With a population of approximately 40,000, Hilo has a small town charm, but is large enough to support 3 shopping centers and to provide needed services. UH Hilo, with a student population of about 4,000, is a multicultural comprehensive university, offering a wide range of baccalaureate degrees and graduate degrees in a few selected disciplines. The island of Hawai'i offers many natural attractions, including Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, white sand beaches, plunging waterfalls, and scenic Waipio valley.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline May 1st Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards March 1

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 20%
Black or African American Not Reported
White or Caucasian 20%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 40%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown Not Reported


Male (40%)
Female (60%)

Location & Contact

Address 200 West Kawili Street
Hilo, HI  96720-4091
United States

Phone: 808-932-7446