Thursday, July 26, 2012

FAMU Pharmacy receives $5.6M research grant to fight cancer

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences an important and major grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

The grant, “Center of Excellence for Cancer Research, Training and Community Service (COE-CRTCS),” was awarded to distinguished researcher and principal investigator Karam Soliman.

“When you do research, you have to believe that your contribution will last forever and that its influence never ceases,” Soliman said.

The total amount of the award is $5,626,785 for five years. In addition, FAMU will receive $1,477,585 for five years as indirect cost.  The overall goal and objective of the grant will fund the development of innovative cancer research to address some of the most significant health consequences affecting minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Specifically, the research funded by this grant will address novel approaches for treating and preventing breast and lung cancer and promote minority health.

“I want to thank Dr. Karam Soliman and his research team for securing this grant,” said Interim President Larry Robinson.  “This research initiative provides the opportunity to faculty and students to apply their expertise to address health issues that impact citizens in Florida and throughout the nation.  It does this by working directly with members of communities dispportionately impacted by breast and lung cancer.”

This award will provide FAMU with the support needed to conduct independent research, provide research-training opportunities to Ph.D. students from health disparity populations and engage in health promotion and health information dissemination activities through established partnerships with community-based organizations in the area of cancer.  The initiative will provide opportunities to accelerate scientific knowledge in cancer by providing support for the following:
  • Innovative research to promote minority health and to eliminate health disparities;
  • Increase the number of individuals from minority and other health disparity populations engaged in research activities;
  • Research infrastructure and capacity building;
  • Strengthen the exemplary research training/education activities by increasing the number of well-trained researchers from health disparity populations; and
  • Engage minority and other health disparity communities in effective and sustainable activities for improving the health of their communities including increasing health literacy and knowledge of health disparities.
“Dr. Soliman is one of the most assertive faculty members in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and at FAMU, period—in terms of pushing forward toward accomplishing our research goals,” said Michael Thompson, dean of COPPS and professor of Pharmacy Practice.  “He has been persistent in obtaining grants, not only to support his research, but also to support our graduate students to complete their Ph.D. degrees.”

Ken Redda, professor and acting vice president for Research, echoed Soliman’s commitment to research.

“Dr. Soliman is one of the most outstanding researchers on campus—very productive, involved in the training of Ph.D. students and post-doc fellows,” said Redda.  “His role as research leader is very prominent and I highly commend him and his dynamic team for their many contributions to the FAMU research community.  We greatly appreciate the continual support of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.  Their generous funding will help FAMU strive to mitigate this devastating disease (cancer) that affects our communities.”

Other members of the research team include the following: Mandip Sachdeva (Pharmacy), Carl Goodman (Pharmacy), John Cooperwood (Pharmacy), Saleh Rahman and Cynthia M. Harris (Public Health), Deana Burney (Psychology), Selina Darling-Reed (Pharmacy), Hernan Flores Rozas (Pharmacy) and Miaisha Mitchell (Front Porch Program, Tallahassee).

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