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Minority Intuitions Receive Funds For Cancer Research

Special to the NNPA from the Louisiana Weekly | 11/17/2009, 11:35 p.m.

Xavier Awarded $10M for New Cancer Research Center

NEW ORLEANS (NNPA) - Xavier University of Louisiana has received a five-year $10.1 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health and it€s Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program.
The RCMI funds will establish core laboratories, provide instrumentation and technical staff, and fund pilot research projects.

Xavier, a historically Black university, will receive approximately $2 million over five years to develop a cancer research center. It is one of four institutions receiving $75 million over the next five years to support Research Centers in Minority Institutions. Other recipients include Charles Drew University, Meharry Medical College, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
The RCMI program enhances research capacity and infrastructure in minority institutions. The New Orleans university suffered heavy damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Along with strengthening Xavier€s research capacity, the RCMI award should assist the ongoing process of rebuilding and recovery.

€The goal of Xavier University of Louisiana is to be a national leader in cancer research and to graduate African-American science, pre-med and pharmacy students who pursue research careers,€ said Dr. Gene D€Amour, Senior Vice President for Resource Development.
Xavier€s RCMI Cancer Research program will increase the number and quality of cancer researchers, plus provide them with release time and mentoring opportunities.

The program will also enhance the competitiveness of existing research faculty and programs by providing seed funding for developmental projects, enhanced professional development opportunities and increased access to postdoctoral associates and research staff,€ said D€Amour Xavier chemistry professor, Dr. Guangdi Wang is the program director for the grant.
€Nationally, and particularly in Louisiana, there are significant disparities between Caucasians and African-Americans with regard to cancer incidence and mortality.

African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for most major cancers, making it a major health and human concern. The Xavier Cancer Research program will work to decrease this disparity for residents in Louisiana,€ said Wang.

To learn more about the RCTR and other RCMI programs activities, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov/rcmi.