On the quest to eradicate cancer

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas awarded five new grants totaling $5.7 million to fund research and prevention programs. The projects are conducted in the Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center, Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute and Institute for Health Promotion Research.

Peter Dube, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine, will receive $859,620 to study aspects of immunity in colorectal cancer. The title of his project is “Integrin-Mediated IL-18 Signaling in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer.”

Yuzuru Shiio, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry, is receiving $1.2 million for a research project to study a type of cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, which usually is diagnosed in children and adolescents ages 10 to 20. His project is “Cytokine Signaling in Ewing Sarcoma.”

Michael Wargovich, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine who holds the CTRC Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology, will receive $899,619 for his prevention and early detection research program. The study is titled “Chemoprevention of Colon Cancer by Anti-Inflammatory Blockade Using Neem.” Neem is a botanical herb.

Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, will receive $1.2 million in the category of evidence-based cancer prevention services. Her program is titled “Using Best Practices to Promote HPV Vaccination in Rural Primary Care Settings.”

Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, is receiving a $1.5 million competitive continuation grant for “GRACIAS Texas: Genetic Risk Assessment for Cancer in All South Texas.”

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