UAB Partners with Tuskegee, Morehouse in Cancer Research for Blacks
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center is joining with Tuskegee University and Atlanta’s Morehouse College to form a “research triangle” in the South that will attack disparate rates of cancer mortality of African Americans.
The partnerships between UAB and the two prominent minority institutions are being developed through grant awards from the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Edward Partridge of UAB said the federal program funds similar projects around the country.
“We hope to use the unique resources of each institution to complement each other to take strong steps toward eliminating the cancer mortality gap that exists between the African American and Caucasian populations,” says Partridge.
Partridge, associate director of the cancer center’s cancer control populations sciences division, is UAB’s principal investigator in the collaboration with Morehouse. Dr. Mona Fouad, a preventative medicine professor, leads UAB’s partnership with Tuskegee. Their counterparts are Dr. Joel Okoli, a surgical oncologist, of Morehouse, and Dr. Timothy Turner, a biologist, of Tuskegee.
“We expect Tuskegee’s Center for Bioethics to play an integral role in the project,” says Fouad. “That center is an outgrowth of the federal apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Research project. A sensitivity to the concerns of African Americans about that discredited research will be a unique contribution of our Tuskegee partners,” she says.
UAB and Morehouse are now in a full partnership, with funded research already under way involving co-investigators from both institutions. In addition, a community outreach component has been designed, and a training program will begin next year.
The UAB/Tuskegee relationship is operating under a planning grant, which includes plans for training and career development, cancer research, education and community outreach.
“The minority-serving partners do not have our environment of research facilities, experience and training to compete for research awards,” says Fouad. “What they do bring to the table are unique perspectives that can contribute training in cultural sensitivity and can help pinpoint the needs of the community.”
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