Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D., will use a $126,000 grant from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation to explore early epigenetic changes in cervical cancer with a goal of developing improved prevention strategies.
By Lindsay Lyle
Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D., a cancer researcher at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, recently received a $126,000 grant from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation to identify certain stress-related factors that aid in initiation and progression of cervical cancer.
“In the United States, cervical cancer causes significant mortality in racially disparate women living under constant socioeconomic stress. In fact, the mortality rate for cervical cancer is the highest in Alabama and continues to rise every year,” Dasgupta said. “Our goal is to identify the early epigenetic changes in cervical cancer to help in risk assessment and develop improved prevention strategies in these women.”
Dasgupta, an assistant professor of pathology at the USA College of Medicine, is the principal investigator of the project. “My long-term goals are to identify specific factors relating to high mortality due to cervical cancer in our region and work in collaboration to reduce the existing disparity gaps,” he said.
The study will be conducted in collaboration with Ajay Singh, Ph.D., head of the Cancer Biology and Cancer Health Disparities Programs at the MCI and professor of pathology at the USA College of Medicine; and Jennifer Young Pierce, M.D., M.P.H., a gynecologic oncologist, head of the Cancer Control and Prevention Program at the MCI, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the USA College of Medicine.
The Elsa U. Pardee Foundation awards one-year grants for research projects devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer. Since 1944, the foundation has given $110.5 million to more than 300 nonprofit institutions across the United States.