Two three-year funding awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will bolster work by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to address disparities in cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina and across a three-state region.
A three-year grant of $339,909 will support collaboration between UNC Lineberger and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center to address cancer disparities across North and South Carolina and Tennessee. The grant will help UNC Lineberger and MUSC to identify and build cancer disparities-focused collaborations, training programs and funding opportunities in the three-state region, known as Region 1-South. It was awarded as an administrative supplement through the Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program, a federal effort to grow cancer health disparities research and training.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with our colleagues at MUSC to coordinate cancer health disparities activities across our region, expand the network of cancer equity-focused researchers, and disseminate information about professional development, funding opportunities, collaborative efforts, and evidence-based research in this field within the region,” said Dr. Stephanie B. Wheeler, assistant professor of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC Lineberger member.
Dr. Wheeler is site director for the project at UNC.
In addition to Wheeler, the supplement is co-led locally by Dr. Ethan Basch, associate professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School and of oncology in the UNC School of medicine. Dr. Basch, director of the UNC Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Program, will work with Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert, at MUSC. MUSC’s Dr. LaShanta Rice and Dr. Anissa I. Vines, research assistant professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School, are regional coordinating co-directors.
The program draws on UNC’s strengths — including the collaboration of multidisciplinary teams in health policy and management, health behavior, epidemiology, medicine, nursing and other disciplines, Dr. Wheeler said. In addition, UNC researchers, who are able to monitor regional and subpopulation trends through the Integrated Cancer Information and Surveillance System, are committed to working with the non-academic community to address the persistent problem of cancer disparities.