Formerly a tenured intramural NIH investigator, Dr. Richard Yanagihara joined the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa through an interagency personnel agreement in 1995 to assist in building capacity for a laboratory-based retrovirology research program. He has served as the RCMI Program Director since 2000 and as the principal investigator of the Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research since 2003. As such, he has played a critical role in coordinating the development of much-needed infrastructure for infectious diseases research, which has involved direct mentoring of junior and mid-career faculty, as well as developing programs that award modest grant support for pilot projects, as well as bridging funds to faculty who are transitioning off of career development or departmental institutional support. Prior to joining the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Dr. Yanagihara was the on-site NINDS Project Officer of a ABSL-3/BSL-3 primate facility within the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies in Frederick, Maryland, where he supervised postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. His scientific explorations have taken the form of problem-based, disease-oriented, long-term, high-risk, multidisciplinary, opportunistic investigations of medically urgent phenomena of worldwide importance, conducted largely in the context of exploiting naturally occurring paradigms of high-incidence “place diseases” among human populations isolated by virtue of their genetics, culture and/or geography.