The Latest Taparra Lab Member News

In March 2024, Kekoa was invited to the University of Pennsylvania to address Pacific Islander health at the 2024 ASAM Research Fellowship Symposium. He presented on the Public Health Panel entitled. Towards Healing: Uplifting Communities Through Public Health.
In March 2024, Kekoa presented his team's research on water sustainability in healthcare. The research was funded by the Stanford Health Care Sustainability SEED Grant program.

Kekoa was featured on the Conquer Cancer Foundation Meet the Researchers for the work funded by his ASCO Endowed Judith and Alan Kaur Young Investigator Award.

Kekoa was nominated for a Healio Disruptive Innovator Award in the NextGen Disruptor Category. Results to be announced at ASCO24.

Congratulations to team member Kai Akimoto for his successful publication in the March 2024 issue of JAMA. He underscores the urgent need for dedicated support for Pacific Islander medical students and physicians. Investing in physicians from within our communities, especially in rural areas, has significant potential for improving our population's health. The publication highlights the vital role of Pacific Islanders in addressing our health disparities and calls for policymakers and healthcare systems to commit to these populations.
Kekoa was featured in an interview written by Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton in the March 2024 issue of Ka Wai Ola, the newspaper of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Kekoa was invited to serve on a research panel at the 30th APAMSA National Conference in March 2024 Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV

Kekoa was invited to present as an invited speaker at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Excellence JEDI Seminar on February 27, 2024.

Congratulations to Nikki Apana on her first author publication published January 1, 2024 in JAMA Pediatrics. With senior authors Kekoa and Dr. DeVille. The year is off to a great start for Taparra Lab members! Hauʻoli Makahiki Hou!

On World Cancer Day 2024, Stanford Cancer Institute highlighted the review paper by Kai Akimoto and Kekoa in The Cancer Journal. The interview covers the barriers with access within the Pacific to innovative oncology clinical trials. Check out the interview.

MedPage featured Kekoa in a profile featuring members of the Taparra Lab team, fellow Pacific Islander scholars Ryan Benavente and Megan Gimmen.

Congratulations to Kai Akimoto on his first author review on Diversity in Cancer Care published in The Cancer Journal, co-mentored by Kekoa and Dr. Manali Patel.

The lab had another awesome meeting in January to start off the calendar year with fellowship, writing workshop, and presentations by Kai Akimoto and Eric Pineda. Join Us!

Kekoa was recently interviewed by ASCO Connection to discuss the ongoign efforts to implement machine learning into health disparities research for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders with cancer.

Kekoa was recently interviewed by the Stanford Report to discuss the importance as a Next Generation Faculty Symposium for early-career scientists transitioning into faculty positions.

Kekoa was selected as one of the Featured Speakers among hundreds of applicants across the country to present his work at the joint Stanford-Berkeley-UCSF Next Generation Faculty Symposium on November 17, 2023. Watch his presentation here.

Kekoa was invited to give a talk on Native Hawaiian health at the 2023 President Obama USA Leaders Summit in Chicago.

Kekoa co-authored a Perspective piece in the NEJM that offers insights from the Indigenous Native Hawaiian community on navigating the aftermath of the deadliest wildfire in modern US history. This work emphasizes the importance of a Native Hawaiian perspective in ensuring the future health and well-being of the Lāhianā community. If you require access to the article, please message us.

Check out Kekoa's featured interview from the New England Journal of Medicine focusing on the Lāhainā, Maui wildfires and the future of Pacific Islander health.

Congratulations to Nikki Kalani Apana on an incredibly important publication in JAMA about the devastating impact of the 2023 Lāhainā wildfires on Native Hawaiian health, emphasizing the urgent need for culturally sensitive mental and physical healthcare solutions, and the importance of integrating Native Hawaiian perspectives in rebuilding and healthcare workforce development. We are so proud of her advocay fo the Native Hawaiian community.

The ACCME accredited Continuing Medical Education content generating group Acapedia highlighted the Taparra Lab's work on racial disparities of brachytherapy treatment.

Congratulations to Ryan Benavente and Megan Gimmen on their publication in JAMA that discusses the nuances of "United States" data in the context of national health care economic burden and the importance of counting patients who are from the US-affiliated Pacific Islands. Their insight is invaluable to the Taparra lab.

The team came together for a group wide workshop Summer 2023. The team is growing! It was an incredible opportunity for all of the Taparra Lab team members to come together in one space. We represent NHPI and NHPI-allied researchers from across the nation. We collectively have a diversity of ideas and expertise. We aim to amplify Pacific Islander voices. Join Us!

Kekoa was invited to speak as guest lecturer for a summer course of Professor Corina Penaia's course on Health Disparities in September 2023 at UCLA. His lecture focused on NHPI health, data disaggregation, and negative impacts of structural racism in healthcare.

Kekoa presented a lecture entitled "Combatting Indigenous Erasure Through Pacific Islander Data Inclusion" to UCSF medical students as a part of the Native Health elective run by Nikki Kalani Apana in September 2023.

Kekoa was invited to give a lecture on NHPI health and NHPI reporting practices to the Stanford Medicine Health Equity Fellows. Find more about the program here.

February 2024, Indigenous Fijian/Tongan student Henrietta Cakobau led the first of our lab meeting's cultural sessions, sharing her experiences of Fijian culture, history, and traditions. Her talk brought together the group by bridging all of us from different ends of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Henrietta is truly a gift to our team!

Our team appreciates the generous support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation donors and the American Society of Clinical Oncology for their support in NHPI research.

The recent monthly lab meeting, enriched by a workshop on PowerPoint and the power of storytelling, highlighted the exceptional dedication of NHPI and allied scholars, whose collaboration and commitment are instrumental in driving change, fostering an environment of professional growth and enduring friendships within the lab.

Kekoa presented at the Stanford University School of Medicine on Native Hawaiian and and other Pacific Islander health disparities to an audience of medical students and physician assistant students in October 2023.

Kekoa presented at the Pasifika Grand Rounds hosted by City of Hope and Healing Association of Pacific Islanders (HAPI) in October 2023.

Congrats to Dr. Alice Huang on her publication in The Laryngoscope focused on racial disparities on 30-day unplanned readmission rates among patients with head and neck cancers in the United States. Our team identified that NHPI and Black patients have higher rates of unplanned readmissions, compared to Non-Hispanic White patients.

The Taparra Lab stands with our ʻohana in Maui who have experienced the most fatal fire disaster of modern US History. The Maui Strong Fund is providing financial resources that can be deployed quickly, with a focus on rapid response and recovery for the devastating wildfires on Maui. HCF will not be collecting a fee for donations to the Maui Strong Fund; 100 percent of the funds will be distributed for community needs.

Kekoa was featured in the September 2023 issue of Ka Wai Ola. "Taparra is a Native Hawaiian resident physician at Stanford Health Care, where he is training to care for patients diagnosed with various cancers. He is originally from Mililani and is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools."

Kekoa was invited to speak as a panelist for the Junior Faculty/Early Career breakout session for the 2023 Stanford Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Research Training Program.