CPRIT gives UT Health Science Center nearly $8 million

SAN ANTONIO (August 21, 2014) — Researchers at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio were awarded close to $8 million in grants yesterday evening from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute.

The grants are for work that ranges from reducing cervical cancer rates in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to finding less toxic cancer treatments through a better understanding of cell genetics.

“The breadth of funding that CPRIT has provided for our scientists is a vote of confidence in their extraordinary work to prevent and to treat cancer on all possible fronts,” said Ian M. Thompson Jr., M.D., CTRC director. “At a time when the competition for funding is greater than ever seen before, I am especially grateful for CPRIT and proud of our CTRC colleagues.”

Dr. Thompson and several researchers will be available for interviews on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, 7979 Wurzbach Rd., in the Mabee Conference Room, 4th Floor, Grossman Building.

Amelie Ramirez, Dr.P.H., professor and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Associate Director, Cancer Prevention and Health Disparities at the CTRC, with co-investigators Kipling Gallion, MA, and Patricia Chalela, Dr.P.H., SMS Cessation Service for Young Adult Smokers in South Texas – $1,400,045

Ricardo Aguiar, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and biochemistry in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center Inactivating Mutation of D2HGDH Establishes a Novel Link Between Metabolism, Alpha-KG Dependent Dioxygenases and Epigenetic Reprogramming in B Cell Lymphoma – $854,740

Devalingam Mahalingam, M.D., Ph.D., oncologist and assistant professor of medicine, Modulation of Autophagy: Phase II Study of Vorinostat Plus Hydroxychloroquine vs. Regorafenib in Refractory Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) – $825,285

Patricia Dahia, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine Investigation of the Tumor Suppressor TMEM127 on Lysosome Function and Lipid Metabolism – $881,146

Manjeet Rao, Ph.D., assistant professor of cellular and structural biology at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute MicroRNAs: Safe and Effective Therapeutic Adjuvants for Treating Drug- Resistant Breast Cancers – $900,000

Thomas Boyer, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine SHH/GLI3 Signaling Axis as a Therapeutic Target in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer – $200,000

Daisy Morales-Campos, Ph.D., instructor/research of epidemiology and biostatistics at the IHPR, with Dr. Parra-Medina, Educating Hispanic Adolescents and Their Families on Cervical Cancer Prevention and HPV Vaccination in Community and Clinic Settings – $149,985

Dr. Parra-Medina is also co-investigator with principal investigator Meizi He, MD, MSc, PhD, at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Building a Healthy Temple Cancer Primary Prevention Program Amongst Hispanics – $573,095

Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members: Kexin Xu, Ph.D., Recruitment to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School – $2,000,000 – (Recruitment grants awarded indicate only approval to negotiate offers; at the time of release candidates have not accepted offer)


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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