The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded $48.2 million in new grants to investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center to support cancer-related projects and to recruit pre-eminent cancer researchers.
These awards to UT Southwestern, made after a rigorous peer-review process, were part of $114 million allocated for 45 projects and scientific recruits at Texas-based academic institutions and private firms.
-Our scientists and clinicians are dedicated to the fight against cancer,- said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. -These awards will allow our investigators, in many instances working closely with colleagues at other institutions, to pursue high-impact work that addresses the most important unanswered questions that will lead to better treatment and prevention.-
CPRIT was established in 2007 after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment that authorized the state to fund cancer and prevention programs. In this latest round of CPRIT grants, UT Southwestern received the most funding of any individual Texas institution.
The new grants include seven Multi-Investigator Research Awards - five involving UTSW - which allow -dream teams- of scientists handpicked from multiple academic institutions to work collaboratively on cancer research projects.
It also provides funding for 14 projects to expand access to critical cancer prevention programs across Texas. For instance, to broaden access to screening services, Dr. Samir Gupta, assistant professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences, was awarded $2.2 million in support of evidence-based colorectal cancer screening for the uninsured.
A total of $19 million also was awarded for the recruitment of cancer investigators for multiple-site projects at UT Southwestern and other institutions.
With this round of funding, a total of 429 grants to date have been recommended by CPRIT-s peer-review experts, presented to the institute-s 11-member board, and then approved. Over three years of operations, all grants recommended to the Oversight Committee have been funded.
-This latest CPRIT decision recognizes UT Southwestern researchers for top-flight investigations in prostate cancer, childhood sarcoma, and stereotactic radiation. It also provides us with two program grants that build on our science to discover novel cancer therapeutics,- said Dr. James Willson, director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern. -The latest grants are another bold step forward in attacking the disease, and will accelerate cancer research here.-
Among the grants awarded to UT Southwestern researchers were: