Last year, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded a five-year, $29 million grant for the National Cancer Institute. The Cancer Center now receives nearly $6M a year in NCI core funding and will continue to do so through 2021. In addition to this core grant, UAB CCC has received over $8.5M in research funding from the NCI during the first half of 2017. This brings their total NCI funding to $14.5 million.
The core funding grant supports six research programs and 14 shared facilities and services. This Cancer Center Support Grant extends the Center’s designation as “comprehensive” which denotes scientific excellence and the ability to integrate diverse research approaches in the fight against cancer. There are only 47 NCI-designated “comprehensive” cancer centers in the United States. UAB’s Center is the only one located in a six-state area. Most of the $29M is designated for sustaining core facilities, which are shared research resources that house state-of-the-art technologies and expertise that scientists could not afford through typical research funding.
These shared facilities include:
- Molecular Analysis and Translational Facilities
- Imaging Facilities
- Clinical Research Facilities
- Developmental Shared Facility
“This grant provides the basis for us to pursue excellence in all of the areas of our mission, including cutting-edge clinical care, translational research, education and the economic development of our community,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine in an article for UAB News.
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Facts and Figures:
- The Center has 350 physicians and researchers who receive over $92M in direct funding.
- The Center treats an estimated 5,000 new patients each year and provides ongoing care for more than 20,000 patients annually.
- The Center conducts more than 180 cancer-related clinical trials exploring various therapies, diagnostics and preventative measures.
$8.5M in research funding from the NCI came in the form of 22 separate research project grants. The top award was $895,375 for a study meant to help to lower the risk of morbidity and mortality in populations at a high risk for Multiple myeloma (MM). According to the grant application, “The purpose of this study is to identify microRNAs associated with the presence of MM and its asymptomatic precursor states and to characterize the role miRNAs in regulating gene transcription.” Other research project grants included $503,784 for continued support of The Collaborative Human Tissue Network and $468,297 for a pediatric leukemia study.