Cancer Research Center UCC has a successful history of training underrepresented minorities and conducting basic biomedical research. For the first time, we propose a disease-oriented center focused on cancer research that has clear potential to support the institutional research agenda of fostering translational research. Currently, UCC cancer investigators pursue basic and translational research on dietary compounds as breast cancer preventives, development of novel therapeutic agents for breast cancer, and identification of molecular markers for metastatic breast cancer. This research program is expected to be nurtured and expanded by the proposed cancer center. The OBJECTIVE of the proposed Cancer Research Center is to build cancer research capacity at UCC and increase minority participation in cancer research by training the next generation of minority cancer researchers. To achieve this objective, the following SPECIFIC AIMS will be carried out: 1) Expand the infrastructure to conduct cancer research at UCC; 2) Increase the number of cancer researchers at UCC; 3) Develop translational and clinical cancer research at UCC; 4) Establish a seminar series on cancer research and continuation of the cancer group meetings and journal club; 5) Educate the community about cancer prevention/early testing; 6) Support a Pilot Project from a junior faculty member. The center will be led by a senior researcher and will be organized into three main areas: 1) Testing the efficacy of novel cancer therapeutics in cell and mouse models, 2) genomic and protein array analysis of cancer pathology, 3) establishment of a cancer tissue repository from patients of mainly Hispanic origin. The GOAL of the Cancer Research Center is to facilitate translational research in the prevention and treatment of cancer. In collaboration with the RCMl/SRDU, we will recruit two faculty members while the Cancer Research Center will recruit one postdoctoral trainee and one technician to support the research of the faculty. This will reinforce and jumpstart our ultimate goal of creating a nucleus of active cancer researchers.

Public Health Relevance

Establishment of a disease oriented center focused on cancer research will lead to identification of novel anti-cancer compounds and a molecular signature for cancer propensity among Hispanic populations. Therefore, the proposed center objectives are highly relevant to finding new cures for cancer and ending health disparities in cancer incidence and treatment options for minorities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Centers in Minority Institutions Award (G12)
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Universidad Central Del Caribe
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