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Texas Tech University System Institutions Receive $6 Million in New Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas Grants

Four new CPRIT grants have been awarded to three universities within the Texas Tech University System totaling over $6 million.

Aug. 26, 2019 | Contact: Scott Lacefield

Three universities within the Texas Tech University System were awarded four new grants totaling over $6 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) on Wednesday (Aug. 21).

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) received $3.3 million for two grants, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso received $1.9 million and Texas Tech University received $657,222.

Dr. Tedd L. MitchellDr. Tedd L. Mitchell

“We are thankful for the continued support and resources provided to our System and universities from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas,” said Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, chancellor of the TTU System and president of TTUHSC. “These grants will strengthen the important work of our institutions and world-class leaders who are dedicated to making an impact globally in higher education and health care.”

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

“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.”

TTUHSC 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 more than 600 research laboratories throughout 26 countries worldwide.

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.

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. CPRIT previously awarded Texas Tech a High-Impact/High-Risk Research award for the initial research that led to the current project.

About the Texas Tech University System 
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System is a $2 billion higher education enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and community outreach. Consisting of four universities – Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso – the TTU System collectively has approximately 55,000 students, 17 campuses statewide and internationally, more than 300,000 alumni and an endowment valued at over $1.3 billion.

During the 86th Texas Legislature under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, legislative funding and authority was provided to establish a new Texas Tech University veterinary school in Amarillo and a new dental school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. This will be the state’s first veterinary school in more than a century and first dental school in over 50 years. The addition of these two schools makes the Texas Tech University System one of only nine in the nation to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and veterinary education, among other academic areas.