Baylor College of Medicine News

Duncan Cancer Center researchers receive $18.4 million in third round of CPRIT grants

In the third round of grants awarded through the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, researchers from the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine received a total of approximately $18.4 million in projects, bringing overall BCM CPRIT funding to more than $30 million.

The grants were announced today at the CPRIT Oversight Committee Meeting in Austin.

"We are extremely pleased with the CPRIT announcement of grant awards this cycle. The large number of multi-investigator grants is a testament to our outstanding faculty who are working together as multi-disciplinary teams to address important questions in cancer research that will have an impact on the development of more effective cancer treatment and prevention strategies and improved patient care," said Dr. C. Kent Osborne, director of the Duncan Cancer Center at BCM. "These awards are a reflection of the outstanding training environment at Baylor College of Medicine and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, as well as our outreach programs into the community to improve cancer screening and early diagnosis, especially in the underserved. The CPRIT mechanism is also achieving its goals of bringing together outstanding researchers from different institutions in the state to work together to answer questions more rapidly and more comprehensively."

In this round of funding, the institutions receiving the most funding were MD Anderson Cancer Center, $19,662,466; BCM,$18,353,016; and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center,$13,601,146.

The BCM award recipients include:

Dr. Richard Gibbs, director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at BCM, for a multi-investigator award entitled "Tumor Banking for Genomic Research and Clinical Translation."

Dr. David Poplack, director of the Texas Children's Cancer Center at BCM, for a multi-investigator award entitled "Targeted Therapies for Metastatic Osteosarcoma."

Dr. David Spencer, professor of immunology at BCM, for an individual investigator award entitled "Development of a Synergistic Genetically Enhanced Dendritic Cell/Natural Killer T Cell Vaccine for Cancer."

Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, for a research training award entitled "Baylor College of Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Training Program."

Dr. Maria Jibaja-Weiss, director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities at BCM, for a community collaborative prevention program award entitled "Community Collaboration to Empower the Medically Underserved for Cancer."

Additionally, BCM investigators will be involved in several multi-institutional projects.

In January 2010, the BCM researchers received a total of $11.5 million for projects focusing on prevention and treatment of a variety of cancers including brain, breast, blood, cervical, colon, liver, ovarian and prostate cancer.

In May 2010, Dr. David Poplack, director of the Texas Children's Cancer Center at BCM, received a $953,000 CPRIT grant to expand a web-based program to guide health care for pediatric cancer survivors.

In 2007, CPRIT was established through a state constitutional amendment to expedite innovations in cancer research and lower the incidence of cancer in Texas. A total of $3 billion over ten years has been committed to fund cancer prevention research in Texas.

"Texas is leading the way in cancer research and prevention efforts," stated CPRIT Executive Director Bill Gimson. "The investment Texas makes today in attracting new talent and expertise to the state will be life-changing for many of our fellow Texans and others around the world fighting cancer."

A total of $142 million in grants were awarded today to fund innovative cancer research and prevention programs across the state.