CPRIT gives Health Science Center researchers $1.8 million

Additional $1.9 million grant will recruit Stanford biologist

SAN ANTONIO (August 3, 2012) – The UT Health Science Center San Antonio was awarded $1.8 million by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to fund work ranging from genetic analysis to patient counseling skills in San Antonio.

“We are exceptionally pleased at the confidence and support of CPRIT for our scientists,” said Ian M. Thompson Jr., M.D., director of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center. “We’re eager to turn this research into results.”

Gail Tomlinson, M.D., Ph.D., interim director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (GCCRI), will receive $518,000 for her work on molecular and genetic analysis of liver tumors in children, while $816,000 goes to support Yidong Chen, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, in his collaborative work with UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists looking into treatable genetic abnormalities in sarcoma patients. Walter L. Calmbach, M.D., M.P.H., a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine, will receive almost $500,000 to launch an initiative to provide primary care doctors and staff with patient counseling skills to encourage behavior change in overweight and obese patients.

CPRIT also awarded the Health Science Center a recruitment grant of $1.9 million to bring in Pei Wang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, as an assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology.

“Members of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology are thrilled that Dr. Pei Wang, an outstanding new talent, will join the department,” said Christi Walter, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology. “We look forward to working with her and the cutting-edge approaches she will bring in stem cell and pancreatic cancer research.”

Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing CPRIT and authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. CPRIT’s goal is to expedite innovation and commercialization in cancer research and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs and services throughout the state.


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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