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Scholarship to recognize UH professor


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POSTED: Thursday, December 17, 2009

A scholarship fund is being established to honor a University of Hawaii emeritus professor who helped found the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH-Manoa.

Kerry T. Yasunobu died Oct. 4 at Straub Clinic & Hospital at age 83.

Yasunobu came to UH-Manoa in 1958 and joined the Department of Chemistry. He later developed and led the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, according to a news release from the medical school.

“;His research laid the foundation in learning pathways of photosynthesis in plants as well as the use and disposition of drugs used in humans,”; said Nadhipuram Bhagavan, a colleague.

; “;The scientific community and the University of Hawaii have lost one of its fundamental developers and a steadfast supporter,”; said Richard Guillory, another colleague and emeritus professor.

“;He challenged and motivated us to stand on our own feet and to learn and discover each in our own way,”; said Joyce Tsunoda, a former student and emeritus chancellor for UH community colleges.

Born in Seattle, Yasunobu and his family were interned in Idaho during World War II. In 1944, Yasunobu joined the U.S. Military Intelligence Service Language School and became a translator stationed in Tokyo.

Yasunobu is survived by his wife, Kikue; son Steven; daughter Chrissie Shimabukuro; grandson Tyler Shimabukuro and nieces and nephews. Services are private.

Donations may be made to the Kerry T. Yasunobu Memorial Fund, with checks made to the University of Hawaii Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828-0270. The funds will be used to establish a scholarship at the medical school.