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West Cancer Foundation Announces Research and Education Grants to Memphis Universities

– Nonprofit Expands Collaborative Partnerships with the U of M and UTHSC College of Medicine–

West Cancer Foundation today announced it is awarding a total of $380,227 in grants to the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/College of Medicine for local research and education. The grants expand upon partnerships West Cancer Foundation initiated with the two universities in 2020 when West Cancer Foundation was formed.

The University of Memphis will receive $63,000 to be used as seed or expanded funding for four key areas identified by West Cancer Foundation as concerns in our community including: closing the disparity gap in breast cancer screening, health equity, community outreach for the uninsured/underinsured and HPV, and smoking cessation. Working in conjunction with West Cancer Foundation, the U of M’s Division of Research & Innovation will identify specific new and existing research initiatives within the university to receive individual grants of up to $15,000 each. The goal of the Collaborative Research Initiative is to promote new lines of research and provide seed funding to enable larger collaborations and the pursuit of future external funding. The financial support from West Cancer Foundation, provided to the U of M’s School of Public Health, builds on the previous research grant awarded in 2020 totaling $23,500.

“Solving the cancer challenge is going to take deep scientific research and collaboration across disciplines and institutions,” said Jasbir Dhaliwal, PhD, Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation, the University of Memphis. “We are pleased to partner with the West Cancer Foundation and UTHSC to further strengthen the reputation of Memphis as a national center of excellence for cancer research.”

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center/College of Medicine will receive $317,227 for the 2021-2022 academic year to fund three gynecological oncology fellows and one radiation oncology resident as part of the West Cancer Foundation Fellowship program. The support for these oncologists-in-training, in conjunction with supervising physicians at UTHSC, will enhance critical research, education, patient support and community outreach. The grant expands upon the funding West Cancer Foundation provided UTHSC in 2020 which totaled $539,241 to support five oncology fellows and two radiation oncology residents.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide this level of support to not one, but two Memphis universities in only our second year of operation” said Leighanne Hart Soden, Executive Director for West Cancer Foundation. “Establishing collaborative partnerships with these schools increases critically important cancer research, education and outreach right here in Memphis and benefits the many hospitals and medical staff in our community that are fighting cancer everyday.”

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