Lilnabeth P. Somera is a Professor of Communication in the Division of Communication & Fine Arts, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, at the University of Guam. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from Michigan State University, and has been with the faculty of UOG for more than 16 years. Prior to UOG, she held faculty positions at the University of Houston-Victoria and De La Salle University in the Philippines.

She served as co-Principal Investigator for two pilot projects in the previous U54 cycle – Health Information Needs and Trends in the Pacific (HINTSP) and HIPPY (Health Information Patterns Among Pacific Youth). Her research in intergenerational communication, as well as the role of social media in these interactions, provides a complementary perspective given the focus on the ethnic and generational groups in our multi-region.   Like many researchers, she has a personal stake in the fight against cancer, the “emperor of all maladies,” as Mukherjee (2010) describes it. Her father died of leukemia while she was in graduate school, and her mother died more recently from a brain tumor.

In the current U54 cycle, she is the co-Lead for the Community Outreach Core (COC) and co-Principal Investigator for the Cervical Cancer Screening pilot project. Her leadership in the HINTSP and HIPPY pilot projects has helped inform the design of the Cervical Cancer Screening pilot project as well as the COC. In particular, her team was able to identify barriers to research participation, cultural factors that impact on health information processes, and perceptions of different kinds of health and cancer information sources. They were also able to demonstrate that respondent-driving sampling (RDS) is a viable methodology for collecting data in hard-to-reach populations.

She has been the faculty advisor of the UOG Alpha Beta Eta Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Honor Society, since it was chartered in 2011. In addition, she was responsible for organizing the Philippine Studies Lecture Series, which has featured eight distinguished speakers from different areas in Philippine Studies so far.

She is an active member of the American Association of University Women (Guam) and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, and maintains professional affiliation with the International Communication Association, the Pacific Asian Communication Association, and the Asian Media Information Center.

She just returned from the World Cancer Congress in Paris, France, where she presented a paper based on data from the HIPPY project.


Jian Yang is Professor of Food Science at Western Pacific Tropical Research Center, College of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Guam. He earned Ph.D. degree (2001) and Master degree (1997) of Food Science at Washington State University and Bachelor degree (1985) of Food Engineering at Jiangnan University, P.R. China.

He is a Certified Food Scientist awarded by International Food Science Certification Commission in 2014. He has been a Professional Member of Institute of Food Technologist since 2004. Dr. Yang’s main research contributions to food science are in the area of modification of dairy protein, b-lactoglobulin, with high hydrostatic pressure, inactivation of foodborne pathogens in an ethnic Chamorro food ‘kelegun’, and biological properties of noni (Mornida citrifolia L.) juice and powders as affected by processing and storage.

Dr. Yang is currently a Co-Leader of the NIH U54 UOG/UH Full Project I “Identification of pro-inflammatory molecules involved in Areca nut carcinogenesis”. His research responsibility is to investigate the active components and the mutagenicity of Areca nut’s extracts and HPLC fractions that induce oral cancer of betel-nut chewing consumers.