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September 28, 2018 - Sobol awarded grant to study genome damage in populations

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MOBILE, Alabama – Cancer researcher Dr. Robert W. Sobol has been awarded one of seven grants from the National Institutes of Health as part of the Genome Integrity Assays Program, a joint effort of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Sobol is the Point Clear Charities Professor of Oncologic Sciences and leader of the Molecular & Metabolic Oncology Program at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute.

The $2.81 million project, entitled “Measuring genomic DNA damage and DNA repair capacity in longitudinal population samples - a step towards precision prevention,” will be conducted in partnership with Dr. Martha I. Arrieta, associate professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine and director of research at the USA Center for Healthy Communities.

“We hope this work will advance our capacity to examine human populations for genome damage and genome repair capacity,” Dr. Sobol said. “The long-term goal is to develop strategies for ‘personalized prevention’ – that is, identifying those at high risk for disease and advising targeted screening measures.”

This five-year translational project will use a newly developed advanced DNA damage detection technology to provide the first look at a longitudinal measure of genome integrity in a community-based cohort of mostly African American descent and will optimize procedures needed for large-scale multi-site studies in future population analyses of genome integrity.

The project leverages the cutting-edge technologies in Dr. Sobol’s lab at MCI and the strong community engagement platform built through the Center for Healthy Communities’ participatory research network.

About USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute

As the region's only academic cancer center, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute combines NIH-funded scientific research with comprehensive cancer care serving communities across southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi and portions of northwest Florida. With three locations, more than 50 clinical trials, and five support groups, the Mitchell Cancer Institute guides patients and their families from the moment of diagnosis through survivorship.

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