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Hollings Cancer Center wins $1.4M for breast cancer research

Researchers from the Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) won a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to enhance breast cancer research at MUSC.

The four-year grant, which partners HCC researchers with a team from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, establishes a breast cancer research training program at MUSC called BRIDGE, or Breast Cancer Research Initiative for Developing Growth and Education. The program enables young investigators to be closely mentored by scientists from MUSC and Baylor College of Medicine, which is internationally-recognized for breast cancer research.

In South Carolina, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer—and also the second leading cause of cancer death—in women. There also are significant differences in how breast cancer affects African-American and Caucasian women.

“This grant will allow us to work with some of the world’s most experienced breast cancer researchers. We will learn as much as we can so we can work on South Carolina’s breast cancer problems,” said BRIDGE principal investigator Carola Neumann, M.D., assistant professor of cell and molecular pharmacology at MUSC.

The HCC research team includes Victoria Findlay, Ph.D., and Erika Brown, Ph.D., both assistant professors of pathology & laboratory medicine; Steven Rosenzweig, Ph.D., assistant director of Shared Resources at HCC; Dennis Watson, Ph.D., program leader of the cancer genes and molecular regulation program at HCC; Rita Kramer, M.D., breast oncologist; Anthony Alberg, Ph.D., assistant director of cancer prevention and control at HCC; Marvella Ford, Ph.D., associate director for cancer disparities at HCC; and Michael Wyatt, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina.

The BRIDGE program was established to continue the development of preliminary research efforts of BRIDGE scholars. Recognized milestones will feature BRIDGE scholars obtaining peer-reviewed, extramural funding to support breast cancer research initiatives. BRIDGE also will meet initial concepts in Prdx1 in preventing breast cancer metastasis; deregulation of DNA repair proteins in triple negative breast cancer; and report on the role of microRNAs in pre-clinical models of breast cancer progression and metastasis.

A secondary goal to the program is to bring collaboration between MUSC faculty from all academic levels and disciplines to contribute to breast cancer research. Participants can gain from a structured, interactive training plan with involvement in the MUSC  Breast Cancer Tumor Boards.

Friday, Nov. 5, 2010

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