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Kanaka Leader Interview with Hawaii Business Magazine

Honored to have been interviewed as a Kanaka Leader for the Hawaii Business Magazine

"Kiana Frank is one of those people that knew her career path from childhood. As a keiki from Kailua, Oahu, she was a self-described “inquisitive, young explorer,” discovering the natural nuances of Kawainui Marsh. Her grandmother told Kiana the story of Kawainui’s lepo ai ia or edible mud that was said to be delicious and nourished Kamehameha the Great’s warriors after the Battle of Nuuanu. Hearing this Hawaiian history, Kiana took a shovel and notebook to Kawainui and conducted many experiments to find the lepo ai. Her findings at the time concluded that the mud was not delicious.

When she got older she noticed an old painting of Kawainui at her grandmother’s house that depicted the marsh as an open, unencumbered fishpond. This depiction was a stark contrast to the Kawainui that Kiana grew up in and it shocked and amazed her at the same time. Realizations and discoveries like the aforementioned would abound as she continued her education, graduating from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama in 2004; University of Rochester with a B.S in Molecular Genetics in 2008; Harvard University with M.A. Molecular Cell Biology in 2010 and Ph. D. Molecular Cell Biology in 2013. Currently, she is an assistant professor at Pacific Biosciences Research Center, Kewalo Marine Laboratory with the University of Hawaii Manoa. You can hear her passion for science in her answers to the interview below, and if you read in between the lines you will also hear the voice of her kupuna as well." - Daniel Ito

Check out the article here!

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