Assistant Professor, Biology (Clinical)
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Dr. Alexander Stokes is a biomedical researcher with a >20-year track record of studying the physiology and pathophysiology of ion channels. He has a specific interest in the role of Transient Receptor Potential ion channels in the pathology of cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases such as Type II diabetes. He is currently a member of the NIH funded Diabetes Center for Biomedical Research Excellence at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. Chaminade students are able to perform research internships in his laboratory both while undergraduates and as post-baccalaureate, gaining valuable exposure to the R1 research environment. Dr. Stokes is a medical school admissions interviewer and can mentor Chaminade pre-meds as they prepare for these critical interviews. Dr. Stokes has long-standing research collaborations with Dr. Helen Turner’s laboratory at Chaminade (ion channel physiology, inflammation and natural product drug discovery) and Dr. Joel Kawakami (molecular modeling of TRP channel ligands and interacting proteins). Dr. Stokes has been a key collaborator on Chaminade’s portfolio of NIH, NSF and DOD funding since 2011. Between 2014-18 Dr. Stokes was the Director of the Hawai‘i Biorepository (regulatory, bioinformatics and informatics oversight of Hawai‘i’s largest tissue bank). Through this experience, he was instrumental in advising Chaminade on the establishment of its IRB and assists researchers with access to banked tissue and DNA/RNA samples.
Dr. Stokes has a long-standing interest in informatics, with signature projects ranging from a large-scale phylogeny of ion channel proteins to ion channel hunting in the newly completed coral genome. He acts as Director of the Data Fellows program at the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Data Science Institute (HDSI) and acts as a liaison between this key partner and Chaminade’s own Data Science Center. Within the Chaminade DSC he is involved in curriculum development, student project mentoring (including as one of the key faculty in the Chaminade-Texas Advanced Computing Center Summer Data Science Immersion program) and is the technical architect of the major data visualization systems in the DSC, Shark and Manta. Dr. Stokes’ current research interests in data science are two-fold: (1) development of domains and expertise-agnostic data visualization algorithms inspired by biological systems, and (2) data mining at scale to generate novel biomedical hypotheses from national research repositories.
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences/Molecular Physiology, University of Warwick; H.B.O. in Bioengineering (Hoger beroepsonderwijs; ~B.Eng. Equivalent), Avans University of Applied Sciences, Etten-Leu; M.S. in International Biotechnology, DeMontfort University; B.S. in Microbiology & Microbial Technology, University of Warwick
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences/Molecular Physiology, University of Warwick
H.B.O. in Bioengineering (Hoger beroepsonderwijs; ~B.Eng. Equivalent), Avans University of Applied Sciences, Etten-Leu
M.S. in International Biotechnology, DeMontfort University
B.S. in Microbiology & Microbial Technology, University of Warwick
Dr. Stokes has founded two biotechnology companies, including one which was a 2019 winner of the ‘Freedom from Cancer’ venture capital competition, and a software/data visualization company. He teaches Technology Transfer and Commercialization in the Chaminade MBA program and is a mentor in the Chaminade Social Incubator (Center for Strategy and Innovation).
Service to Profession
Dr. Stokes is an advocate for equity and diversity in STEM. Dr. Stokes is an advocate for non-binary and intersex recognition at the state and national level.
Awards and Honors
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (2019)
- Honoree Hawaii Academy of Inventors (2015)
- Invited member, National Academy of Inventors (2015)
- Member, American Heart Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science