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UofL’s Brown Cancer Center to get $10.1 million for cancer research

July 18th, 2008


Donald Miller, Brown Cancer Center director

University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center will receive $10.1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore new ways to treat and prevent cancer.

The grant is a renewal of an $11 million NIH grant the Brown Cancer Center received in 2003 to fund a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). As did the first grant, the renewal will provide five years of support. This will give talented, young scientists an opportunity to produce initial data in new fields of study so that they may seek individual federal research grants sooner in their careers.

“The renewal of our COBRE grant at this level, particularly in this highly competitive funding environment, is well-deserved national recognition of the outstanding scientific discoveries made at the Brown Cancer Center over the past five years — discoveries that will ultimately change lives and create jobs for our community and state,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

Of the first five young scientists funded by the first grant, four have competed successfully for individual NIH grants and two of those have discovered new cancer drugs that are being licensed for future commercialization, said Donald Miller, Brown Cancer Center director.

This grant renewal will benefit “outstanding researchers who already have contributed to discoveries in molecular targets, cancer vaccines, stem cell biology, gene therapy and computer modeling of how carcinogens interact with genes,” Miller said.

This type of grant funding has helped the Brown Cancer Center do work that heightens its national reputation. Community support and funding from Bucks for Brains, Kentucky’s program to invest in university research that creates new jobs, generates new economic activity and provides new opportunities for Kentuckians, also have helped, he said.

“They have helped us bring top physicians and scientists to Louisville, renovate our clinical facilities, invest in state-of-the-art technology for both research and treatment and make exciting new discoveries that will lead to tomorrow’s cures,” he noted, adding that among those new discoveries are at least 27 new treatments in various stages of preclinical testing.

Between 1999 and 2008, the Brown Cancer Center’s research funding has increased from $338, 571 to more than $50 million annually.

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