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February 25, 2009

NIH AWARDS $15.9 MILLION TO CCNY AND MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING TO CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS CANCER DISPARITIES

NEW YORK, February 25, 2009 — The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded The City College of New York (CCNY) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) a $15.9 million grant to implement a unique partnership in cancer research, education, and outreach. The five-year, renewable award is funded by NCI’s U54 program, an initiative created to develop partnerships between minority-serving institutions and NCI-designated cancer centers.

The Partnership for Cancer Research, Training, and Community Outreach will build upon a previous collaboration between the institutions. The grant will help support key research activities that provide a multidisciplinary, but unified approach to several objectives set forth by MSKCC and CCNY.

“We are looking forward to partnering with CCNY to improve cancer research, training, education, and outreach for underserved communities in the New York area,” said Dr. Tim A. Ahles, Director of MSKCC’s Neurocognitive Research Laboratory, and U54 Co-Principal Investigator. “We also want to have these successful approaches to address cancer disparities serve as new models for other minority-serving institutions and NCI-designated cancer centers.”

 “By combining our talents and some of our resources, CCNY and Memorial Sloan-Kettering will be well equipped to build and nurture programs in areas such as cancer research and community outreach that will help address cancer disparities in underserved minority and economically disadvantaged communities,” said Dr. Karen Hubbard, Professor of Biology at CCNY, and U54 Co-Principal Investigator.

The Partnership for Cancer Research, Training, and Community Outreach includes four primary objectives:

  • Investigators will work to develop translational research programs in cell biology, immunology, and biomedical research. Translational research is a concept in which basic science discoveries are applied in clinical practice and clinical observations are studied in the laboratory.
  • MSKCC and CCNY will collaborate with diverse communities to help define and address cancer disparities. The proposed Partnership for Community Outreach Program (PCOP) will provide an infrastructure to work with members of the community to identify and prioritize specific areas for action. Other elements of this effort include at least two large-scale annual outreach events and several smaller, topical activities featuring experts on issues such as healthy eating, smoking cessation, and cancer screening.
  • A collaborative effort will be made to recruit and retain students from high school to the post-graduate level, in particular those of minority backgrounds, who are interested in pursuing careers in cancer research. Enhanced education and training opportunities, as well as increased mentorship and support, will be made available.
  • The partnership will recruit new faculty members at both institutions. U54 resources will help support appointments in key CCNY divisions. At MSKCC, faculty lines will add to the capacity to conduct community-based intervention research and to the development of the PCOP.        

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering; and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

About Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest private institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research, and education in cancer. Our scientists and clinicians generate innovative approaches to better understand, diagnose, and treat cancer. Our specialists are leaders in biomedical research and in translating the latest research to advance the standard of cancer care worldwide. For more information, go to www.mskcc.org.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering contact:

Courtney DeNicola, 212-639-3573, mediastaff@mskcc.org

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