AIDS Researcher Cecilia Shikuma Named Scientist of the Year

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AIDS clinical researcher Cecilia Shikuma

AIDS clinical researcher Cecilia Shikuma has been named the 2011 Scientist of the Year by the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Honolulu Chapter.

Shikuma is a professor of medicine and director of the Pacific Center for AIDS Research at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Her research interests include optimization of HIV antiretroviral management and care, metabolic and mitochondrial toxicities associated with HIV and its therapies and in the neurologic complications of HIV.


HIV continues to surprise the medical community, Dr. Shikuma says. “People with HIV are suffering higher rates of heart disease, liver failure and cancer.” She has established collaborations with Thailand and Vietnam to identify and treat HIV in Asia and the Pacific. She publishes extensively on related topics, most recently “Epidemiology, Seasonality and Predictors of Outcome of AIDS-Associated Penicillium marneffei Infection in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam” in the April 2011 Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Shikuma is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine and infectious diseases and holds HIV specialist certification from the American Academy of HIV medicine. Before joining the John A. Burns School of Medicine as an assistant professor in 1991, she served as infectious disease consultant and director of infection control at Kaiser Medical Center in Honolulu and chief resident and assistant director of medical education for the UH residency program at St. Francis Medical Center.

“My undergraduate degree in biology is from UH, so this institution is very close to my heart,” she told fellow ARCS honorees and guests at the organization’s annual banquet to recognize outstanding scientific work by American citizens at UH Mānoa. “This has been very exciting for me,” she added, noting the basic science research by young scholars that contributes to pharmaceutical development tested in clinical trials such as the ones she runs.

Shikuma’s MD is also from UH Mānoa, and she completed her pediatric internship and residency and an infectious disease fellowship at the University of Southern California before returning to Honolulu to compete her internal medicine residency.

About ARCS–Honolulu: For more than 50 years, ARCS Foundation, Inc. has been dedicated to helping meet the country’s need for scientists and engineers by providing awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens pursuing graduate education in the sciences, engineering and health. The Honolulu chapter awards 100 percent of donations to University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa scholars; it has provided close to $1.7 million to more than 500 students since the chapter was founded in 1974.