John A. Burns School of Medicine

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University of Hawaii at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine
Motto Maluna a'e o na lahui a pau ke ola o ke kanaka ("Above all nations is humanity")
Established 1965
Dean Jerris Hedges, M.D.
Location 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Queen's Medical Center

Tripler Army Medical Center

Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children

Kuakini Medical Center
The correct title of this article is University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. It appears incorrectly here because of technical restrictions.
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine: Cancer Center and Medical Education Building, waterfront campus (Honolulu, Hawaii)
The Research Building at The John A. Burns School of Medicine located in the Kaka'ako neighborhood of Honolulu

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (also known as University of Hawaii Medical School or University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine) is a public, co-educational institution of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and is one of the leading medical education institutions in the United States. In 2013, Harvard University identified the John A. Burns School of Medicine as one of ten "leaders in the reform and improvement of medical education," for its innovative problem-based learning curriculum. Named after Governor of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns, it is the only US-LCME accredited medical school in the Pacific.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association. Residency programs are affiliated with accredited teaching hospitals: Queen's Medical Center, Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Kuakini Medical Center, and Tripler Army Medical Center.

Top 20 Medical School

In 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Hawaii at Manoa JABSOM at #19 among 171 accredited medical schools in the United States.[1]

Most Beautiful Medical School Designation (Ranked #3 in United States)

The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has been recognized for having one of the most beautiful medical school campuses in the United States.[2]

The John A. Burns School of Medicine was named the third most beautiful medical school in the country by, only surpassed by the medical schools at the University of Vermont and Boston University. JABSOM outranked medical schools at Harvard and Dartmouth, who rounded out the top five.[3]

Best Medical Degrees concluded that "The laboratories, faculty, and programs at The John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii are certainly worth the consideration of future medical professionals. However, it could be the location and campus of this school of medicine that turns it into a top choice. The campus is located on the waterfront in Kaka’ako, Hawaii, making it possible for students to enjoy the tropical atmosphere of the mid-Pacific as they pursue their studies."[4]

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine Cancer Center

National acclaim[edit]

In addition to being declared a national leader because of its problem-based curriculum, the world set its sights on the John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1998 when Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi and his team of scientists developed what is now called the Honolulu Technique for cloning mice.

• For the last three years, JABSOM has ranked number 1 in National Institutes of Health research awards among community-based public medical schools (i.e., public medical schools without a university hospital).[5]

• JABSOM is ranked number 1 in the nation by the Association of American Medical Colleges in retention of combined MD and Resident alumni practicing in-state.[6]


University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine students consistently score incredibly high on the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) STEP 1. In 2014, students averaged a 236, ranking University of Hawaii second among all public medical schools (only behind University of Missouri School of Medicine), and 16th among all 141 accredited US medical schools (ranking higher than private institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Cornell).[7] For the past 11 years JABSOM students have scored up to 16 points above the USMLE Step 1 national average.[8]

Problem Based Learning (PBL) Curriculum

JABSOM has earned a well-deserved reputation for its commitment and expertise in utilizing problem-based learning in medical student education. Medical schools from the US, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan have requested that JABSOM help them develop their own PBL curricula, and JABSOM has also provided PBL training workshops for pre-college public school teachers wishing to introduce this methodology into their classrooms.[9]


University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine attracts many great minds to conduct research in Hawaii. UH is most noted for the genetics/transgenics, reproductive biology, and tropical medicine/infectious diseases programs.

• University of Hawaii Medical School is ranked top 10 in the nation for amount of research funding per faculty, emphasizing the institution's focus on quality over quantity of researchers.[10]

Institute for Biogenesis Research

The Institute for Biogenesis Research (IBR) was formed in September 2000 with the goal of establishing a research center of excellence for reproductive biology. The IBR was intended to build on the 40-year career of one of the leaders in this field, Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, who served as the IBR's founding Director from 2000 to 2005. Currently, the IBR houses eight full-time faculty, and more than 30 staff members.[11]

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine Institute for Biogenesis Research (Honolulu, Hawaii)

The major focus of the IBR's research is reproductive and developmental biology, with an emphasis on assisted reproductive techniques (ART). IBR faculty use ART as a model to understand mammalian reproduction and development, and to develop new transgenic models for biomedical research. We also use animal models of ART to investigate and improve current ART usage in fertility clinics. Research includes a wide range of studies from basic DNA structure to post-fertilization effects of ART on human embryonic development.[12]

Most notably, researchers (Dr. Monika A. Ward, et al.) published a study in the journal Science where the team was able to get infertile mice to generate offspring via assisted reproduction techniques.[13]

In addition, University of Hawaii researchers in Dr. Stefan Moisyadi's lab gained acclaim for many breakthroughs in transgenetics research with mammals; including successfully producing green pigs, rabbits, and mice (after inserting jellyfish genes into the mammals).[14] The ultimate goal of the research is to eventually produce applicable treatments for debilitating genetic diseases (such as hemophilia) and as well to produce cheaper medicines.

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine researchers from Dr. Moisyadi's lab successfully conduct transgenesis in mammals (rabbits). The research gained international acclaim

Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Ebola Vaccine Development

Dr. Axel Lehrer, a co-inventor of the Ebola vaccine, has shown proof of concept efficacy with subunit Ebola vaccines in non-human primates.[15] The vaccine is heat resistant and is will be entering clinical trials with humans.[16]

University of Hawaii Cancer Center

"The University of Hawaii Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in Hawaii and the Pacific. The Center’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education and patient care with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural and environmental characteristics of Hawaii and the Pacific. The Center is a research organization affiliated with the University of Hawaii at Manoa with facilities located in downtown Honolulu and Kaka‘ako. Our new world-class cancer center was completed in early 2013. The Center directly employs 300 faculty and staff, with another 200 affiliate members through the UH Cancer Consortium."[17]

Gallery of University of Hawaii Medical School[edit]


Admissions to the John A. Burns School of Medicine M.D. program is incredibly competitive. Annually, pre-medical students compete for 66 spots (JABSOM boasts one of the smallest class sizes of US medical schools). Hawaii state legislature has capped out-of-state enrollment to 6 students out of the 66. Roughly 2000 out-of-state applicants compete for 9 acceptances, resulting in a 0.45% out-of-state acceptance rate.[18] Typically, 251 interviews are awarded, 79 to out-of-state applicants (non-residents) and 172 to residents.[19]


The John A. Burns School of Medicine was established in 1965 at Leʻahi Hospital on the slopes of Diamond Head near Waikīkī as a two-year program of basic medical sciences for students hoping to enroll in various medical schools on the mainland United States for the remaining two years of medical school. In 1971, the school moved to the newly constructed Biomedical Sciences Building in Mānoa. In 1973, the Hawaii State Legislature made it possible for the school to expand its scope and become a four-year degree granting program. In 1975, the school's first class of sixty-two graduated with medical doctor degrees. About 50% of the practicing physicians in Hawaiʻi are graduates of the school or its residency program.

Kakaʻako Waterfront[edit]

Former Governor of Hawaiʻi Benjamin J. Cayetano and former University of Hawaiʻi President Evan Dobelle presided over the groundbreaking of the new John A. Burns School of Medicine campus on Ilalo Street bounded by Kakaʻako Gateway Park, Kakaʻako Waterfront Park and Fort Armstrong at the Waterfront near downtown Honolulu. The US $150 million complex features technologically advanced medical facilities, rivaling those of renowned medical institutions around the world. The Medical Education Building opened to the first class to enter the new school in the spring of 2005. In the fall of that year the 1,840,000 square feet (171,000 m2) Research Building opened. The dedication and grand opening of the campus was led by interim Dean T. Samuel Shomaker on September 30, 2005, with many dignitaries, including Governor Linda Lingle, and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Dean of the School of Medicine is currently Jerris R. Hedges, MD, MS, MMM, who was appointed in March 2008.


There are sixteen departments and divisions of the John A. Burns School of Medicine covering various fields of the biological and chemical sciences.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°17′46″N 157°51′50″W / 21.2960°N 157.8638°W / 21.2960; -157.8638