Dr. Cecilia Shikuma, Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease Specialist and Director of the Hawai’i Center for AIDS, was named Scientist of the Year 2011 by ARC Honolulu. It is the highest achievement award given by the Honolulu chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Students, known as ARC.
A group of women in Los Angeles got together in 1957 and formed the ARCS Foundation in 1958 (after the Soviets launched Sputnik) to reestablish America’s technological superiority. All members are volunteers and all money raised or donated goes to scholar awards, which the Honolulu Chapter presented May 2 at a banquet at the Outrigger Canoe Club.
Dr. Shikuma conducts research and publishes extensively on HIV antiretroviral management and care, metabolic and mitochondrial toxicities associated with HIV and its therapies and neurologic complications of HIV.
Her research center at the John A. Burns School of Medicine includes a Hawai’i Clinical Trials Unit that provides cutting-edge clinical trials in medications for HIV and its complications. It has several research laboratories and the Clint Spencer Clinic, an HIV care clinic that provides medical care for patients in Honolulu and on the Big Island and Maui where HIV services are limited.
The Hawai’i Center for AIDS also has satellite research units in collaboration with in-country partners in Bangkok, Thailand, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Dr. Shikuma completed a pediatric internship and residency and an infectious disease fellowship at the University of Southern California. Returning here, she served as Infectious Disease consultant and Director of Infection Control at Kaiser Medical Center. She then went through an internal medicine residency program at UH followed by a year as Chief Resident and Assistant Director of Medical Education for the UH residency program at St. Francis Medical Center. She joined the UH Hawai’i AIDS Clinical Trials Unit in 1989, becoming Program Director in 1993.
Story by Helen Altonn