Written By Gregory Fischbach

July 18, 2023
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  • Lanya Konyu and Carmella Vizza teaching invertebrate sampling at Hamakua

    Lanya Konyu and Carmella Vizza teaching invertebrate sampling at Hamakua.

  • Emily Andrist at Hamakua

    Emily Andrist at Hamakua.

  • Frances Pascual

    Frances Pascual.

  • Lanya Konyu in Kawai Nui Canal

    Lanya Konyu in Kawai Nui Canal.

HPU’s Undergraduate Infrastructure Student Research Center (HUI SRC) has awarded five student researchers with $5,000 grants each as part of the summer 2023 Health Research Concept Competition (HRCC).

The HUI SRC offers three funding cycles per year for undergraduate initiated research projects that are health related and all HPU undergraduate students in each college are eligible to apply. Information on HUI SRC can be found at their website, or by emailing HPU Chemistry Professor David Horgen, Ph.D., via email at:

The summer 2023 HUI SRC grant winners and faculty mentors are:

Emily Andrist; faculty mentors: Carmella Vizza, Ph,D., and Olivia Nigro, Ph.D.; project title: The impact of Genki Balls on the pathogenic microbial communities of Kawai Nui stream

Lanya Konyu; faculty mentor: Dr. Carmella Vizza, Ph.D.; project title: Effects of Genki balls on Kawai Nui stream water quality 

Emily Hackett; faculty mentor: Patricia young, Ph.D.; Optimizing motion capture-based dynamic stability measurements for hula dancing

Frances Pascual; faculty mentor: Chris Capaldo, Ph.D.; project title: Lipid-based biomarket for cervical cancer

Lucah Davis; faculty mentor: Olivia Nigro, Ph.D.; project title: Unearthing oceanic crustal viruses of hyperthermophilic archaea using a metagenomic approach


HUI SRC is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and its core mission is to build HPU’s research capacity and promote greater representation in the realms of biomedical and health research, specifically among students of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders backgrounds and other students that are under-represented in biomedical research in the U.S.

At the same time, the HUI SRC is committed to inclusivity and membership and the grant competition is open to all HPU undergraduate students. HUI SRC invites all HPU undergraduate students who are interested in or curious about research that touches on human health to join the organization and potentially compete for funding.

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