His resignation was announced at a Friday afternoon faculty meeting at the center.
In brief remarks, Carbone told a crowd of about 100 that he was resigning to focus on his research, according to Adrian Franke, a 25-year cancer center faculty member who was at the meeting.
Carbone’s leadership has been marked by controversy and turmoil since he assumed the top job on an interim basis in 2008 and on a permanent one in 2009.
Jerris Hedges, UH’s medical school dean, was named acting director while a search is conducted for Carbone’s successor, according to people at the meeting.
While the controversial leader’s detractors applauded the move, Carbone’s supporters took time to note his contributions to the institution.
"Dr. Carbone and the university accomplished something very special together for the people of Hawaii," said state Sen. Josh Green, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who is also an emergency room doctor. "They have built a first-class cancer center. Dr. Carbone’s vision made this possible and now I have faith that the chancellor and regents will find the right person to take the administrative reins as Carbone focuses his efforts on major cancer breakthroughs."