HSC awarded $5.7 million for cancer research, prevention

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 20, 2015) — The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) yesterday awarded five new grants totaling $5.7 million to fund research and prevention programs at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The projects are conducted in the Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute and Institute for Health Promotion Research.

Peter Dube, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine, will receive $859,620 to study aspects of immunity in colorectal cancer. The title of his project is “Integrin-Mediated IL-18 Signaling in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer.”

Yuzuru Shiio, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry, is receiving $1.2 million for a research project to study a type of cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, which usually is diagnosed in children and adolescents ages 10 to 20. His project is “Cytokine Signaling in Ewing Sarcoma.”

Michael Wargovich, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine who holds the CTRC Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology, will receive $899,619 for his prevention and early detection research program. The study is titled “Chemoprevention of Colon Cancer by Anti-Inflammatory Blockade Using Neem.” Neem is a botanical herb.

Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, will receive $1,295,493 in the category of evidence-based cancer prevention services. Her program is titled “Using Best Practices to Promote HPV Vaccination in Rural Primary Care Settings.” Dr. Parra-Medina is an investigator with the Institute for Health Promotion Research and co-director of the South Texas Area Health Education Centers Program.

Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, is receiving a $1.5 million competitive continuation grant for “GRACIAS Texas: Genetic Risk Assessment for Cancer in All South Texas.”


The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit www.ctrc.net.

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