NIH awards grant for cancer research to the University of Wisconsin

06/24/04

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today the award of a $7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to the University of Wisconsin to help construct a cancer research facility, which will enable basic researchers and clinical investigators to work together to address the causes, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer. Last year, the Secretary announced a similar award to the University of Wisconsin for research on prostate cancer.

"Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women," Secretary Thompson said. "In 2004, there will be an estimated 215,000 new cases of breast cancer in women. While researchers have made great strides in unraveling the mysteries of this disease, the new research facility at the University of Wisconsin presents a unique opportunity to marshal our resources to accelerate treatments and cures for our nation's citizens."

"Scientific discovery requires approaches that bring together---both physically and intellectually---scientists and clinicians with a broad range of expertise and skills," said Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., director of NIH. "By removing physical barriers, researchers at this facility can work as interdisciplinary teams---taking research gained from cellular and molecular discoveries in the laboratories and translating them into treatments and cures for patients suffering from breast cancer."

Both this year's award and the one made last year are for the construction of different floors in the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center/Interdisciplinary Research Complex. The grant funding will provide state-of-the-art laboratories, address an overall shortage of research space, and allow investigators, who now are spread out over multiple floors and buildings on the campus, to work in close proximity in order to collaborate on their research findings. The grant is supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of NIH.

In addition to enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary research teams, the new facility will permit researchers to share resources, including microimaging instrumentation, an animal vivarium, a molecular screen facility, a flow cytometry laboratory, and a molecular pathology/tissue bank facility.

The University of Wisconsin is part of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Program, a program supported by the National Cancer Institute, which is also a part of NIH. The program supports major academic and research institutions throughout the United States to sustain broad-based, coordinated, interdisciplinary approaches to cancer research. These institutions are characterized by scientific excellence and capability to integrate diverse research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer. The objective of the program is the advancement of cancer research to ultimately reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality.

The grant is awarded under NCRR's Research Facilities Improvement Program, which provides funding to public and nonprofit private institutions to expand, remodel, and renovate existing research facilities or construct new research facilities. These facilities must support basic and/or clinical biomedical and behavioral research, and they may also support research training.

NCRR is part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. NCRR is the nation's leading federal sponsor of resources that enable advances in many areas of biomedical research. NCRR support provides the scientific research community with access to a diverse array of biomedical research technologies, instrumentation, specialized basic and clinical research facilities, animal models, genetic stocks, and such biomaterials as cell lines, tissues, and organs.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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