Mau Receives 2017 School of Medicine Alumni Merit Award
Marjorie K. Leimomi Mala Mau, BS’81, MD’85, is professor and founding chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Mau is the first Native Hawaiian woman board-certified in both endocrinology and internal medicine and is the first woman to be selected as a master in the American College of Physicians in the state of Hawai’i.
She is currently director of research in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health and is principal investigator of multiple grants at the University of Hawai’i, where she has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last 25 years.
Mau’s professional career is punctuated by her enthusiasm for health disparities research, with a special emphasis on cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity among minority populations in the Pacific (i.e., Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Asians and others). She is an advocate for engaging diverse communities in the biomedical process and is actively involved with mentoring and preparing the next generation of emerging investigators to pursue careers as competitive health disparity researchers.
Mau is a highly respected health care provider who has cared for patients in rural communities on Molokai as well as in urban Honolulu, Oahu, and served as the medical officer on Hokule’a, the iconic traditional voyaging canoe in the Pacific. Mau’s medical career continues to be strongly influenced by her family values and the early educational experience of the Jesuit ideals honed while a student at Creighton.
She has been honored with several awards, including the inaugural Myron “Pinky” Thompson Endowed Chair for Native Hawaiian Health Research, the National Kidney Foundation Medical Professional of the Year 2002, and selection as an NIH Biomedical Faces of Science (2009-2013), among others.