Agsalda-Garcia, Melissa PhD

Pilot Project PI
Adjunct Affiliate
Hawaii Center for AIDS and Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology & Pharmacology
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

(808) 692-1649

Research Overview

2015-2016 & 2016-2017 RMATRIX Collaboration Pilot Projects Program Awards

Project Description

Title: Biomarkers to Optimize Anal Cancer/Dysplasia Screening for HIV+ Patients in Hawaii
Principal Investigator: Melissa Agsalda-Garcia, PhD
RMATRIX HEALTH Initiative(s): Aging & Chronic Diseases Prevention/Management
RMATRIX Core Support: Biostatistics & Health Sciences Data Analytics, Clinical Research Resources and Facilities


This project focuses on a strong collaboration with clinical researchers to test a novel set of biomarkers and improve access in a translational setting to screen for low-grade anal dysplasia to manage the chronic disease. Anal dysplasia/cancer is a potentially chronic disease affecting HIV+ individuals in Hawaii particularly Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Filipinos. They are especially vulnerable because they are less likely to be screened due to the stigma associated with being HIV+ thus creating a disparity in accessing anal cancer/dysplasia screening. The importance of this disparity is evident with the screening prevalence of abnormal anal cytology ranging from 44-85% in HIV+ men and women. To diagnose anal cancer, however, an additional invasive procedure called high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) is required. Approximately 40% of those at risk for anal cancer could potentially be spared from HRA if a more efficient screening modality was available. We are also planning a collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus to test the novel set of biomarkers for anal dysplasia/cancer in their population and to explore it as a marker for cognitive decline.

Selected Publications

  • Shiramizu B, Goldman S, Smith L, Agsalda-Garcia M, Galardy P, Perkins SL, Frazer JK, Sanger W, Anderson JR, Gross TG, Weinstein H, Harrison L, Barth MJ, Mussolin L, Cairo MS.
    Impact of persistent minimal residual disease post-consolidation therapy in children and adolescents with advanced Burkitt leukaemia: a Children's Oncology Group Pilot Study Report.
    Br J Haematol 2015 [more...]

  • Kallianpur KJ, Valcour VG, Lerdlum S, Busovaca E, Agsalda M, Sithinamsuwan P, Chalermchai T, Fletcher JL, Tipsuk S, Shikuma CM, Shiramizu BT, Ananworanich J, Wendelken L, Desai A, Hutchings N, Chomchey N, Jirajariyavej S, Chaisit P, Chinvarun Y, Thongkramjaroen P, Thongmuang S, Jarupittaya S, Khongtia P, Jadwattanakul T, Methajittiphun P, Mingkwanrungruang P, Chalermchai T, Phanuphak N, Kroon E, Terratakulpisarn N, Suttichom D, Rattanamanee S, Boonchan M.
    HIV DNA in CD14+ reservoirs is associated with regional brain atrophy in patients naive to combination antiretroviral therapy.
    AIDS 2014 [more...]

  • Ndhlovu LC, Umaki T, Chew GM, Chow DC, Agsalda M, Kallianpur KJ, Paul R, Zhang G, Ho E, Hanks N, Nakamoto B, Shiramizu BT, Shikuma CM.
    Treatment intensification with maraviroc (CCR5 antagonist) leads to declines in CD16-expressing monocytes in cART-suppressed chronic HIV-infected subjects and is associated with improvements in neurocognitive test performance: implications for...
    J Neurovirol 2014 [more...]

  • Shiramizu B, Liang CY, Agsalda-Garcia M, Nagata I, Milne C, Zhu X, Killeen J, Berry JM, Goodman MT.
    Presence of high-risk human papillomavirus genotype and human immunodeficiency virus DNA in anal high-grade and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions.
    AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2013 [more...]

  • Valcour VG, Ananworanich J, Agsalda M, Sailasuta N, Chalermchai T, Schuetz A, Shikuma C, Liang CY, Jirajariyavej S, Sithinamsuwan P, Tipsuk S, Clifford DB, Paul R, Fletcher JL, Marovich MA, Slike BM, DeGruttola V, Shiramizu B, SEARCH 011 Protocol Team
    HIV DNA reservoir increases risk for cognitive disorders in cART-na�?�¯ve patients.
    PLoS One 2013 [more...]

  • Kusao I, Shiramizu B, Liang CY, Grove J, Agsalda M, Troelstrup D, Velasco VN, Marshall A, Whitenack N, Shikuma C, Valcour V.
    Cognitive performance related to HIV-1-infected monocytes.
    J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2012 [more...]

  • Kusao IK, Troelstrup DL, Agsalda MA, Shiramizu BT.
    Effective use of small-interfering RNA to characterize residual B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells following chemotherapy.
    J Hematol Malig 2012 [more...]

  • Shiramizu B, Goldman S, Kusao I, Agsalda M, Lynch J, Smith L, Harrison L, Morris E, Gross TG, Sanger W, Perkins S, Cairo MS.
    Minimal disease assessment in the treatment of children and adolescents with intermediate-risk (Stage III/IV) B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a children's oncology group report.
    Br J Haematol 2011 [more...]

  • Egan K, Kusao I, Troelstrup D, Agsalda M, Shiramizu B.
    Mitochondrial DNA in residual leukemia cells in cerebrospinal fluid in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
    J Clin Med Res 2010 [more...]

14 February 2019:
Proposal Development Workshop

Hawaii EPSCoR and the Manoa Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Research will be hosting a Proposal Writing Workshop on Thursday, February 14, 2019 from …

11 February 2019:
Apply Now to the 2019 Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI)

Apply Now to the 2019 Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI)

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will ho…

15 January 2019:
Health Disparities Pilot Grant Funding Opportunity


The purpose of this funding opportunity is to provide promising early career investigators with support to capture the key preliminary …

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