December 1, 2006

Meharry, VICC partnership gets $14 million NCI renewal grant

Featured Image

Photo by Susan Urmy

The Meharry/Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Partnership has been awarded $14 million by the National Cancer Institute for research that seeks to reduce cancer mortality among African-Americans and other minorities.

The renewal grant will provide $10 million to Meharry Medical College and $4 million to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Samuel Evans Adunyah, M.D., chair of Meharry's Cancer Biology Division and the college's principal investigator, said the funds are part of a five-year project that is a joint venture with Vanderbilt-Ingram. Harold Moses, M.D., professor and director emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram, is the principal investigator for Vanderbilt.

“This competing renewal award will empower our institutions to continue to play leading roles in the nation toward reducing cancer disparities among minority populations,” said Adunyah. “In doing so, Meharry will also partner with Tennessee State University (TSU) to develop key community outreach and prevention strategies to strengthen community center cancer education, behavioral modifications, and interventions that will ultimately lead to a reduction in cancer incidence and burden among our minority population.”

“Tremendous progress is being made against cancer, but our work is not finished until that progress is shared equally by everyone, regardless of their racial, ethnic or cultural background, or where they live,” said Moses. “We are pleased to be partners with Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University to address the challenge and to eliminate the racial disparities in cancer incidence and death.”

Baqar Husaini, professor at TSU and director of the Center for Health Research, is pleased to be a part of this initiative. “It provides for an opportunity for scientists at Meharry, Vanderbilt and TSU to forge new collaborative partnerships to help the Metropolitan Community and particularly the African-American and Hispanic communities to reduce cancer disparities,” said Husaini. “TSU will focus on participatory community outreach efforts in these minority populations."

The Meharry/Vanderbilt-Ingram grant application was the only application to receive an “outstanding priority score” during the National Institutes of Health (NIH) competition with other competitive cancer center partnerships. The competition included applications from the University of Alabama at Birmingham-Morehouse School of Medicine Partnership and the Howard University-Johns Hopkins Partnership.

The grant funds will open opportunities to support a number of cancer research projects, recruit several cancer research scientists, epidemiologists, and oncologists to participate in the war against cancer and fund the Meharry Medical College Cancer Clinical Trial. It will also provide underwriting for training in cancer research for minority students in Ph.D., Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, and Oncology Fellowship programs at Meharry and Vanderbilt and facilitate the development of a Tissue Bank and a Biostatics Core to support various cancer research projects.