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DiGiovanni Receives $2.5 Million Grant

Dr. John DiGiovanni, the Coulter R. Sublett Chair in Pharmacy, is one of two researchers at The University of Texas at Austin to receive a $2.5 million grant to establish a training program for a new generation of cancer researchers.

The award, which comes from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), was awarded to Dr. Jonathan Sessler, professor of chemistry, as the principal investigator and to DiGiovanni as the co-principal investigator. It is the largest award among $3.3 million in grants to UT Austin researchers announced by CPRIT on Thursday (July 1).

The funding will be used to establish The University of Texas at Austin Cancer Research Training Program. The program, which will be administered under the direction of the Texas Institute for Drug and Diagnostic Development (TI-3D) and the Cancer Prevention Research Group (CPRG), will focus on training undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral preclinical researchers from the colleges of pharmacy, natural sciences and engineering at UT Austin. Funding from the grant will provide summer support for undergraduates from institutions outside the university.

It will educate pre- and postdoctoral students through a program of joint mentorship that will see each trainee supervised by two or more investigators whose respective expertise lies in either early stage cancer drug and diagnostics lead generation or preclinical testing and analysis.

"This exposure to both fundamental and translational research will afford the trainees with an unparalleled hands-on education that will be complemented by a multi-faceted program of learning involving classroom instruction, specialty workshops on ethics and grant writing, seminars given by external speakers, and trainee presentations both internally and at professional meetings," said DiGiovanni.

"This training will provide a group of highly educated cancer researchers while contributing to major advances in the area of cancer treatment, diagnosis and prevention," he said.

The program's team-oriented approach to cancer education and research will lead to progress that might not be realized through the traditional single researcher model. It will also be enhanced by a close connection to researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The training program will build on successful seed grant funding from the Welch Foundation.

Last Reviewed: July 6, 2010

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