HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this month.

The center started out as a research unit of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center in 1971 at the UH Manoa Campus.

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The celebration was held virtually on Zoom and in-person at the Kaka’ako campus on Saturday, Aug. 14.

Legislators, community partners, and UH and UH Cancer Center senior leadership were present.

Longtime UH Cancer Center faculty member Joe W. Ramos has been named the interim director.

After starting out as a research unit of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the UH Manoa Campus, the UH Board of Regents sanctioned it as its own research institute in 1981.

The Kaka’ako campus was finished in 2013. There’s about 300 research faculty and staff, including some of the nation’s leading cancer experts.

There are 200 affiliate members involved with the UH Cancer Center through the Hawaiʻi Cancer Consortium which does cancer research for the people of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Rim.

More than 16,623 people have been enrolled in cancer clinical trials through the UH Cancer Center since 2016.

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The center is also celebrating 25 years of continuous designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).