This Phase III COBRE application seeks to support and sustain the momentum achieved during developmental Phases I and II of the Center for Colon Cancer Research (CCCR) at the University of South Carolina. In the US and South Carolina, colorectal cancer remains the 2nd leading cause of cancer death and the 4th highest in incidence. In the 91/2 years since COBRE funding was initiated, the CCCR has made significant strides in enhancing the critical mass of independent scientists studying this disease, as judged by establishment of fully functional laboratories, receipt of extramural research grants, and publication in highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals. In addition, a vibrant outreach program has been designed and implemented to educate citizens from diverse economic backgrounds about colorectal cancer and the value of screening, making South Carolina a national leader in advocacy for this disease. The CCCR is now a fully established, self-standing center that contributes to the nation's goal of reducing the morbidity of colorectal cancer. To carry on with this effort, the CCCR will implement the following aims during Phase III: Provision of administrative services and support through the Administrative Core. Support of financial, programmatic, and training aspects of the CCCR research and outreach effort will be provided. Operation of a group of interactive Research Cores. CCCR investigators will have state-of-the-art expertise and technology available through four Cores, each of which is led by an experienced and knowledgeable member of the CCCR faculty. Oversight of a Research Pilot Project Program. Through fiscal support for development of investigator initiated seed projects, as well as development of multi-disciplinary programs, the Pilot Project effort will enable entry into challenging new research areas, and will mediate unique collaborations. In addition, the project will manage a graduate scholarship program for underserved minorities. In all, the wide range of knowledge and proficiency exhibited by the interdisciplinary faculty comprising the CCCR provides the basis for sustaining, during Phase III period, that which was built during Phases I and II.
Colorectal cancer is diagnosed in over 140,000 Americans each year, and takes 51,000 lives. There is need for focused research on this disease in order to identify and implement improved strategies for diagnosing, preventing, and treating it. Such is the goal of the Center for Colon Cancer Research at the University of South Carolina.
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