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Jan. 13, 2016 - 'Moon shot' to cure cancer? Count us in

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If the nation embarks on a “moon shot” to cure cancer, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute would be well-positioned to play a role in the effort and bring federal research dollars to the Gulf Coast, says MCI Director Dr. Michael Finan.

“An increase in federal funding through the NIH would help fund our research here in Mobile,” Finan said. “The beauty of this is that these dollars are spent right here in South Alabama and the discoveries made here will be applied to patients worldwide.”

As the only academic-based cancer research and treatment center on the Gulf Coast, MCI employs almost 200 researchers searching for a cure for many types of cancer. “Our teams are working day and night developing new cancer treatments, discovering the molecular origins of cancer and working on new ways to detect deadly cancers early when they are curable,” Finan said. “An increase in NIH-funded cancer research is critical to our work at the MCI.”

MCI receives about $5 million a year in research funding from the NIH.

 In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for a “moon shot” to cure cancer that would be fueled by increased funding for the National Institutes of Health. Obama called on Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his adult son to brain cancer last year, to head up the initiative.

When Biden announced he would not run for president last fall, he called for a “moon shot in this country to cure cancer.” In a blog post Tuesday, he wrote that such an effort would include increased public and private funding for cancer research and eliminating barriers that prevent researchers from sharing data.

“I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control,” Obama said during the speech on Jan. 12. “For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

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