News

2.08.2017

Sylvester and Miller School Awarded $5.7 Million for Cancer and Tobacco-Related Disease Research

The Florida Department of Health has announced the award of 16 grants totaling more than $16 million from the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program. Six investigators at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine were recipients of Bankhead-Coley and King grants totaling $5,728,856.

The funding supports a new series of projects related to cancer and tobacco-related diseases, including prevention and treatment, health disparities, treatment-related morbidities and the development of investigational new drugs. The cancer research focuses on the most common cancers such as breast, lung, skin and colon cancer. The Florida Department of Health awarded these grants based on rigorous peer review. The application process was particularly competitive, with 201 researchers seeking funding.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida continues to be a leader in research and innovation, and I am proud to announce the recipients of more than $16 million for cancer research grants today. These important projects not only help us discover more about how to prevent and treat these terrible diseases, but also keep world-class researchers in our state. We all know someone who has been impacted by cancer, and I am proud to continue working with our incredible research institutes as we fight to find a cure.”

State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip said, “Cancer and tobacco-related disease continue to impact too many of Florida’s families. Investing in Florida’s research institutions to effect change in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment is critical to the future of health care innovation in our state.”

“The exceptional grants funded by the Florida Department of Health through the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program speak volumes about the commitment of Florida researchers to improve lives through scientific excellence,” said Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D., director of the Mailman Center for Child Development and chair of the Florida Biomedical Research Advisory Council. “There were many other exceptional projects that were unfortunately not funded due to the limited funds in the program. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is indeed fortunate to have faculty who make a such major contribution to cancer and tobacco-related health in Florida.”

Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., said, “We are very grateful that four cancer research programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center were selected as recipients of funds from the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program. As the only academic cancer center in South Florida, Sylvester is focused on conducting cancer research that makes a difference in people’s lives. These four projects address cancers that affect our community. These projects reflect the most innovative ideas in translational cancer research and further strengthen our capability to conduct impactful cancer research.”

The Sylvester researchers receiving awards for the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program are:

Anthony Capobianco, Ph.D., professor of surgery: “The development of small molecule inhibitors of NACK as novel cancer therapeutic agents targeting the Notch pathway,” $1,471,318

Emmanuel Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology: “Identifying infection and molecular determinants of health disparities in HCV infected minority populations for the prevention and early detection of HCC,” $1,866,436

Xin-Hai Pei, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery: “Targeting BRAC1 deficient breast cancers,” $97,880

Gaofeng Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of human genetics: “Epigenetic prevention of breast cancer progression by Vitamin C,” $97,880

The Miller School investigators receiving awards for the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program are:

Helen M. Bramlett, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery and psychology: “Whole body vibration improves stroke outcome in nicotine-exposed rats,” $1,253,753

W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology: “The therapeutic effect of P7C3-A20 on stroke,” $941,589

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