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David Ward, PhD

David Ward, PhD
  • Professor
    Cancer Biology Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center


  • PhD, Biochemistry
    Rockefeller University, New York
  • MSc, Biochemistry
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Research Focus

Dr. Ward has been a research scientist for over 40 years during which time he developed significant expertise in virology, molecular genetics, cytogenetics and biotechnology. A co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, he has also been issued more than 40 patents.

Based on his laboratory's research at Yale University, Dr. Ward was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States in 1998. He became the Deputy Director of the newly formed Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas in May 2004, and helped build the institute into a thriving research and treatment center with more than 400 employees. His scientific and administrative skills are now being applied to the reorganization and expansion of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center and the creation of a vibrant alliance with clinical institutions throughout the state.

Although his major responsibilities since arriving in Honolulu in January, 2010, have been administrative, he maintains an active interest in scientific research, with 13 published papers since 2009, and another four currently in press. He is eager to participate in the leadership of the Clinical and Translational Research Services group that will be come an increasingly important component of the UH Cancer Center-CCSG proposal. By applying his experience in translating laboratory observations into clinical trials, he hopes to assist in the development of a robust, cutting-edge clinical trials operation at the UH Cancer Center.


  • Xu D, Alipio Z, Fink LM, Adcock DM, Yang J, Ward DC, Ma Y. Phenotypic correction of murine hemophilia A using an iPS cell-based therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 20;106(3):808-13.
  • Gai H, Nguyen DM, Joon-Moon Y, Aguila JR, Fink LM, Ward DC, Ma Y. Generation of murine hepatic lineage cells from induced pluripotent stem cells. Differentiation 2010 79, 171-181.
  • Alipio Z, Liao W, Roemer EJ, Waner M, Fink LM, Ward DC, Ma Y. Reversal of hyperglycemia in diabetic mouse models using induced-pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived pancreatic beta-like cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jul 27;107(30):13426-31. Epub 2010 Jul 7. PMID: 20616080.
  • Khoury JD, Adcock DM, Chan F, Symanowski JT, Tiefenbacher S, Goodman O, Paz L, Ma Y, Ward DC, Vogelzang NJ, Fink LM. Increases in quantitative D-dimer levels correlate with progressive disease better than circulating tumor cell counts in patients with refractory prostate cancer. Am J Clin Pathol. 2010 Dec;134(6):964-9.
  • Cramer DW, Bast RC Jr, Berg CD, Diamandis EP, Godwin AK, Hartge P, Lokshin AE, Lu KH, McIntosh MW, Mor G, Patriotis C, Pinsky PF, Thornquist MD, Scholler N, Skates SJ, Sluss PM, Srivastava S, Ward DC, Zhang Z, Zhu CS, Urban N. Ovarian cancer biomarker performance in prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial specimens. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Mar;4(3):365-74.

Publication list via PubMed


Dr. Ward is a co-author on over 40 U.S. patents issued while a member of the Yale University faculty. More than twenty of the issued patents are still being utilized in the clinical diagnostic and therapeutic areas. Applications include non-isotopic nucleic acid labeling techniques (using biotinylation or fluorophore labeled tags), single and multiparametric fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in cancer diagnostics (including analysis of tumor cell aneuploidy and gene copy number, the Abbott UrovisionTM test for bladder cancer and the LabCorp 6-plex protein blood test for detection of ovarian cancer, molecular cytogenetics (M-FISH or spectral karyotyping [SKY]) and prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome and other disorders with chromosomal abnormalities.

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