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April 9, 2012 - USA Cancer Research Fund Application Deadline Approaching
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The University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute has created the USA Cancer Research Fund to support pilot and other small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The goal of this fund is to provide initial support to foster, across the university, the growth of a broad base of peer-reviewed funded grants related to cancer research.

The USA Cancer Research Fund is now accepting applications, and the deadline for submission is May 1, 2012. All university faculty are eligible to apply, with the exception of faculty holding a primary appointment in the Mitchell Cancer Institute. The project period is one year with a start date of September 1, 2012, and the budget for direct costs is limited to a maximum of $60,000 per year.

Examples of the types of projects that will be supported include the following: 1) Pilot or feasibility studies designed to generate preliminary data for an NIH R01 or other similar multi-year grants for cancer-related research; 2) Secondary analysis of existing data; 3) Small, self contained research projects; 4) Development of research methodology and 5) Development of new research technology.

Last year, USA Cancer Research Fund helped leverage funding for a research project led by Dr. Joseph Brewer, associate professor in the department of microbiology at the USA College of Medicine. His team includes Andy Byrd, a pre-doctoral student in the basic medical sciences graduate program at the USA College of Medicine; Michael Lysek, a part time lab assistant; and Ileana Aragon, lab manager. The research is ongoing.

“The support from the USA Cancer Research Fund has given us some additional resources and flexibility to explore a new direction in cancer cell biology,” Dr. Brewer said.

The research findings made by Andrew Byrd, a graduate student in Dr. Brewer’s lab, led them to propose the project that was funded by the USA Cancer Research Fund. The funding received is helping Dr. Brewer’s team explore a mechanism that may influence the characteristics and fate of breast cancer cells.

“Historically, my lab has focused on understanding mechanisms that control B cell function. Normal B cells in the body help fight infection, but B cells that malfunction can cause life-threatening diseases like cancer and autoimmunity,” Dr. Brewer said. “Thus, the results of our work may lead to new treatments for diseases caused by faulty B cells. Recently, our research has uncovered a mechanism that may be important in other cell types, including other types of cancer cells.”

The Request for Application and the application package is available for download from the Health Systems Grants Administration and Development web site. Download the modified PHS398 forms and instructions from http://www.southalabama.edu/hsgrants/cancerresearchfund.html . Click on USA Cancer Research Fund.

Please submit all materials as PDF files to Ashley W. Turbeville, Director, Health Systems Grants Administration and Development at aturbeville@usouthal.edu . Please mail the original signature hard copy of the application via campus mail to Turbeville at CSAB 170.

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