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Over $16M in research grants awarded to cure cancer, tobacco-related diseases

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that over $16 million in research funding was awarded to 16 different projects through the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program.

Those funds, dispersed among a number of universities and cancer research centers across the state, will support researchers in their efforts to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and to develop cures for cancer and tobacco-related diseases.

“Florida continues to be a leader in research and innovation, and I am proud to announce the recipients of more than $16 million for cancer research grants today,” Scott said. “These important projects not only help us discover more about how to prevent and treat these terrible diseases, but also keep world-class researchers in our state. We all know someone who has been impacted by cancer, and I am proud to continue working with our incredible research institutes as we fight to find a cure.”

“Cancer and tobacco related disease continue to impact too many of Florida’s families,” state surgeon general and secretary Dr. Celeste Philip said. “Investing in Florida’s research institutions to effect change in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment is critical to the future of health care innovation in our state.”

The following organizations received awards:

  • Florida A&M University - $94,810 for one project
  • Florida Atlantic University - $622,683 for one project
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute - $7,162,380 for six projects
  • University of Florida - $2,648,986 for two projects
  • University of Miami - $5,728,856 for six projects

The funding supports a new series of projects related to cancer and tobacco-related diseases, including prevention and treatment, health disparities, treatment-related morbidities and the development of investigational new drugs. The cancer research focuses on the most common cancers such as breast, lung, skin and colon cancer.

The Florida Department of Health awarded these grants based on rigorous peer review. The application process was particularly competitive, with 201 researchers seeking funding.

“Each year we receive outstanding research proposals that help us move forward with the goals of our state biomedical research plan and this year was no different,” Dr. Daniel Armstrong, Chair of the Biomedical Research Advisory Council said. “I am excited to see how these projects will better the lives of Florida’s patients.”

“Supporting cancer research through this funding helps advance our goal of finding cures for these devastating diseases,” Dr. Christopher Cogle, Chair of the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council said. “Our State continues to do a fantastic job of identifying meaningful projects to put our support behind and I’m grateful to be part of this process.”