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AUSTIN — The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded four new grants to the Texas Tech University System totaling over $6 million.

“This round of awards emphasizes CPRIT’s priorities of pediatric cancer prevention and research, reaching underserved populations and investing in early translational research,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT Chief Executive Officer. “The world-class institutions of the Texas Tech University System are conducting important work in cancer research and prevention, addressing cancers of importance and delivering vital services directly to Texans.”

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock received a $3.1 million Core Facility award that will support a Cancer Animal Facility. This grant will update the current animal facility for cancer research and enable optimal animal care and integrate clinical pathology, histopathology, and rodent imaging to support animal models research in cancer at TTUHSC. A major user of the core will be The Children ’s Oncology Group Cell Childhood Cancer Repository, which establishes, banks, and characterizes patient-derived xenografts from childhood cancers and provides them to greater than 600 research laboratories across Texas, nationwide, and 26 countries world-wide.

TTUHSC also received a $200,000 High-Impact/High-Risk Research award to study the recurrence of ovarian cancer and treating the disease’s resistance to chemoprevention. This award mechanism provides short-term funding to explore the feasibility of high-risk projects that, if successful, would contribute major new insights into the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancers.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) received a $1.9 million prevention grant for Tiempo de Vacunarte 2 (TdV2), a multi-component intervention designed to reduce the HPV-related cancer burden targeting five border counties in Texas. The program will continue as a community-wide effort headed by TTUHSC El Paso across a network of 175 community sites, as well as expanding to new sites that include school districts, community centers, clinics, faith-based organizations, food banks, city/county services, local and state health departments, and other community-based organizations.

Texas Tech University received an Early Translational Research award of $657,222 to develop a prototype of a compact instrument able to separate and count circulating tumor cells in the blood without antibody-based labeling or immunostaining markers. The research funded in this grant was initially supported by a previous CPRIT High-Impact/High-Risk Research award.

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded the Texas Tech University System 67 grants totaling $74,397,820. Of the 67 grants, 40 have been academic research grants ($41,153,934) and 25 have been prevention grants ($33,409,777). Two product development grants have been awarded to CerRx, a TTUHSC spin-out company, totaling $17,783,916.

See the attached list for all academic research and prevention grants awarded.

About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.4 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 181 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 37 companies to Texas, and generated over $3 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 5.7 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. In May 2019, the Texas Legislature approved a constitutional amendment for the November 5, 2019 general election ballot to authorize an additional $3 billion in bonds for cancer research and prevention.

Learn more at cprit.texas.gov. Follow CPRIT on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Core Facility Support Award — TTUHSC Cancer Animal Facility (Scott L. Trasti) — $3,183,703
  • High-Impact/High-Risk Award — Chemoprevention of acquired therapeutic resistance and disease recurrence in ovarian cancer (Komaraiah Palle) — $200,000

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso

  • Expansion of Cancer Prevention Services to Rural and Medically Underserved Populations Awards — Tiempo de Vacunarte (Time to Get Vaccinated) 2 (Jennifer C. Molokwu) — $1,963,826

Texas Tech University

  • Early Translational Research Award — Engineering a protoype for label-free separation and staining-free detection of circulating tumor cells (Siva A. Vanapalli) — $657,222