Here's what Houston cancer researchers secured fresh funding from Texas nonprofit
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded around $40 million in grants to cancer researchers and cancer research institutions in the Houston area.
The Houston-area grants represent more than 40 percent of the statewide grants recently approved by Austin-based CPRIT.
The largest local grant, $6 million, went to Hongfang Liu and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The grant helped attract Liu to UTHealth Houston. She is a pioneer in biomedical informatics, an emerging field in cancer research.
Liu comes to Houston from the Mayo Clinic. At UTHealth Houston, she will be director of the Center for Translational Artificial Intelligence in Medicine within the School of Biomedical Informatics as well as vice president for learning health systems.
In a news release, Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, president of UTHealth Houston, says the recruitment of Lui “will strategically enhance the position of Texas as a national and international leader in data science, artificial intelligence, and informatics applications in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer.”
Other CPRIT grant recipients at UTHealth Houston were:
- Lara Savas — $2,499,492 for early detection and treatment of breast and cervical cancer among Latinas
- Chao Hsing Yeh — $1,046,680 for an acupressure program to help patients manage cancer-related pain
- Belinda Reininger — $999,254 for a lifestyle intervention program in South Texas
- Paula Cuccaro — $449,959 for a targeted approach to boosting HPV vaccinations
What follows is a rundown of other CPRIT grant recipients in the Houston area.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Kenneth Hu — $2 million to recruit him as a first-time, tenure-track faculty member
- Dr. Kelly Nelson — $1,998,196 to support a program for early detection of melanoma
- Robert Volk — $1,988,211 for a lung cancer screening program
- Jian Hu — $1.4 million for research into brain and spinal cord tumors in children
- Die Zhang — $1,399,730 for research into cognitive issues caused by radiation treatment
- Peng Wei — $1,199,994 for research into the evolution of bladder cancer
- Boyi Gan — $1,050,000 for the study of cell death in breast cancer patients
- Sue-Hwa Lin — $1,050,000 for a novel immunotherapy to treat the spread of prostate cancer to the bones
- Joseph McCarty — $1,050,000 for research into invasive cells in patients with brain or spinal cord tumors
- Cullen Taniguchi — $1,049,997 for the study of immune responses related to pancreatic cancer
- Dr. Andrea Viale — $1,049,985 for the study of immune responses related to pancreatic cancer
- Michael Curran —$1,049,905 for research into blocking DNA damage related to radiation therapy and immunotherapy
- Wantong Yao — $1,049,854 for research into a novel therapy for pancreatic cancer
- Eleonora Dondossola — $1,025,623 for the study of therapy resistance among certain patients with prostate or kidney cancer
- Niki Zacharias Millward — $1,019,997 for the study of a type of kidney cancer that begins in the lining of small tubes inside the organ
Baylor College of Medicine
- Xi Chen — $2 million for the study of immunotherapy resistance among some breast cancer patients
- Melanie Bernhardt — $1,392,407 for research aimed at improving treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children
- Pavel Sumazin — $1,371,733 for research into hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer
- Maksim Mamonkin — $1,050,000 for improving treatment of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- Ana Rodriguez — $2,257,898 for an HPV vaccination program in the Rio Grande Valley
Houston Methodist Research Institute
- Ewan McRae — $1,999,977 to recruit him to Houston from the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University as an expert in RNA therapeutics
University of Houston
- Lorraine Reitzel — $448,726 for lung cancer screening programs