HUI SRC Scholars in the Spotlight

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Halaevalu Vakalahi 

HUI SRC Scholars in the Spotlight

Andy Yu, B.S.
Isabelle Yazel Eiser, B.S.










The Hawai’i Undergraduate Infrastructure Student Research Center (HUI SRC) at Hawai’i Pacific University was established in 2020 and is modeled after the Morgan State University ASCEND SRC. HUI SRC’s carefully-thought out logo reflects the strengths of the Pacific and promotes seeking and producing knowledge as a collective act. The acronym “HUI” is a Native Hawaiian term that directly refers to a group of people, a village, or in ways, a family!  

Among the major components of HUI SRC is the Health Research Concept Competition (HRCC). In this spotlight, meet the two summer 2021 HRCC scholars. 

Isabelle Yazel Eiser, B.S. in nursing and B.S. in biochemistry, and her mentor Olivia Nigro, Ph.D., are focusing their summer research on Vibrio vulnificus, pathogenic bacteria that are widespread in Hawai’i. Their research will include sub-culturing a set of pathogenic and nonpathogenic isolates from Hawaiian waters under varying environmental conditions, including nutrient concentrations, oxygen levels, temperatures, and salinities. Whole genome sequencing will be completed on a subset of isolates that have differing growth profiles in order to understand the relationship between growth characteristics and variations in the core- and pan- genomes of V. vulnificus. This research will help to identify genetic differences among strains of V. vulnificus from brackish waters surrounding Oahu and how those differences impact their growth, survival, and reproduction. 

 Yazel Eiser plans to pursue graduate school in 2022 for a career in infectious disease research.

Andy Yu, B.S. in biology, and his mentor Christopher Capaldo, Ph.D., are conducting research on differential HNF4a isoform expression during inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic relapsing inflammatory disorder that can be partly linked to a mutated gene known as HNF4a which have been known to cause dysregulation of tight junctions, allowing pathogens to invade across intestinal epithelia, subsequently inducing inflammation and worsening the progression of IBD. This project aims to analyze the HNF4a gene and its role in protecting the gut from inflammation. This research will help increase understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD in patients that have mutations in this gene. 


For more information about HUI SRC please visit the program website and follow them on Instagram @huisrc_hpu. 

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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