UT Southwestern has been granted $11 million in new cancer research funding by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to recruit top cancer scientists and clinicians into the state and advance the institution’s leading cancer research.
According to a UT Southwestern news release, the institution received state-funded support for five different cancer research and hiring initiatives after submitting to CPRIT’s rigorous, reformed selection process. Of the $37.3 million in new funding recently granted by CRIPT to 14 different research projects in the state of Texas, UT Southwestern was given 29.5% of the total funding.
UT Southwestern announced that the new funding will enable them to offer research positions to some of the most highly skilled cancer researchers in the world today, but that the scientists still need to accept the institution’s invitations.
$3 million of the total $11 million given to UT Southwestern will be used to invite Marco Durante, an investigator from GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Dr. Durante’s heralded research has been dedicated to studying the biophysics of heavy ions and its applications in cancer therapy and space radiation protection. He has hundreds of published articles and abstracts in several different areas of research.
The other $8 million will be earmarked to recruit PhD students Gary Hon, from Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at San Diego Branch, Jian Xu, from Boston’s Children Hospital, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Weibo Luo, from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Laura Banaszynski, from the Rockefeller University.
According to James Willson, director of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center at UT Southwestern, the amount of recent CPRIT funding resources apportioned to UT Southwestern is the reflection of the prominent work of the institution in cancer research. “These CRIPT grants will help sustain UT Southwestern’s prominence in Texas for top-flight investigators, and further solidifies Texas as a destination for top researchers in the field,” he said.
Daniel K. Podolski, UT Southwestern’s President, also reacted to the grants, saying that they were “made possible by the support of people of Texas,” and that they will contribute “to discovering better cancer treatment and prevention strategies.”
The Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center is the only one with the designation of national cancer center in North Texas, and one of just 66 existing in the U.S. It is focused on patients’ innovative treatments and on pioneering research on patient care and cancer prevention.
Along with the $11 million in funding, UT Southwestern also received two product development grants from CRIPT to support research and development in oncology area led by Texas-based companies.
CRIPT was founded in 2007 and has granted $930 million in cancer funding to Texas researchers, institutions and companies. Programs resulting from CRIPT’s grants have made an impact throughout the United States, brought more than 50 renowned scientists into the state, and provided Texas with advanced scientific and clinical knowledge on cancer.