WORCESTER, Mass.—Recognizing the exceptional contributions in cancer research and a nurturing environment for young investigators, the American Cancer Society has again awarded the UMass Memorial Cancer Center a $360,000 Institutional Research Grant. This prestigious grant, administered by Gary S. Stein, PhD, the Gerald L. Haidak and Zelda S. Haidak Chair of Cell Biology and Interim Director of the Cancer Center, and Dario C. Altieri, MD, the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair of Cancer Biology, provides funding to investigators at the early stages of their careers to initiate programs in cancer research. Support from the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (up to $30,000 each) is awarded to investigators on the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Amherst campuses.

Drs. Stein and Altieri “appreciate that the American Cancer Society recognizes our Cancer Center commitment to develop cancer research programs that focus on fundamental regulatory mechanisms in tumor cells and clinical research where errors in biological control provide a platform for new dimensions to cancer diagnosis and therapy. The support from this American Cancer Society grant for research that focuses on cancer prevention and control, as well as on psychosocial, behavioral, health outcomes and standards of care research, is critical for enhancing our capacity to treat cancer patients. Studies pursued under this program are leading to improvement of quality of life for cancer patients, their family and friends. In the current funding climate, American Cancer Society’s support for young investigators is a decisive factor for establishing careers in cancer research.”

Research supported by the American Cancer Society IRG has been instrumental in evaluating experiences of minority women with cancer, developing new approaches to reconstructive surgery for cancer patients, establishing signals for expression of genes in breast cancer, defining novel strategies for dietary cancer prevention, pursuing the molecular basis of lung cancer, studying aberrant expression of genes in pancreatic cancer, analyzing modified gene expression in leukemia, developing approaches to encourage colorectal cancer screening, investigating tumor vascularization and understanding the distribution of chromosomes and regulatory proteins during tumor cell proliferation.

The success of the research supported by the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant reflects multidisciplinary approaches that have been made possible by participation of investigators from basic science and clinical departments with active engagement of investigators from the College of Medicine, the School of Nursing and the Program in Population Health Sciences on the Medical School campus and from several departments on the UMass Amherst campus. Unquestionably, the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant enhances the capability of UMASS Medical School and UMASS Memorial Health Care to pursue the commitment to clinical and translational research. The Institutional Research Grant additionally facilitates the integration of programs between the Medical School and the UMASS Amherst campuses.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School attracts more than $193 million in research funding annually, and its innovative programs are the centerpiece of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative. Consistently ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the leading medical schools in the nation for primary care education, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research and public service. UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care.