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West Cancer Foundation Awards Oncology Fellows Grant to UT Health Science Center

—Grant Expands Research for Gynecological Cancer—

MEMPHIS, TN, August 03, 2023

West Cancer Foundation today announced it has awarded a grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) to fund its Oncology Fellowship program to increase local cancer research and education. The Foundation will award UTHSC $85,524 to fund a gynecological oncologist fellow for one year.

The West Cancer Foundation Oncology Fellows program awards grants to local universities to increase support for oncologists in training who work closely with supervising physicians on critical research and education to advance the fight against cancer. Since it was launched in 2020, West Cancer Foundation has awarded 15 grants to UTHSC totaling $1.19 million. The grants have funded 10 gynecological oncologist fellows, two medical oncologist fellows and three radiation residents.

“This highly competitive program brings the very best and brightest young minds to Memphis to train with the city’s leading oncologists,” said West Cancer Foundation Executive Director Leighanne Soden. “We are proud to provide grant funding to UTHSC, the largest educator of health care professionals in Tennessee, to help expand and improve cancer care in our community.”

The UTHSC oncology fellowship program has a dual focus in both clinical patient care and academic research. The multidisciplinary approach provides fellows training using the latest advancements in diagnostic imaging and testing, genetic screening, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapies, and minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical techniques.

“We are developing the next generation of world-class oncologists through UTHSC’s Fellow and Residents Program, and it’s so rewarding to have West Cancer Foundation step up to add their support,” said Dr. Todd Tillmanns, Gynecological Oncologist and Program Director for the UTHSC’s Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship. “Our goal is for these fellows to learn the complex medical management required to care for our unique patient population in Memphis.”

West Cancer Foundation’s mission is to break through barriers to cancer care and improve patient outcomes by providing accessible patient resources, early detection and education, and research to improve health inequities. The organization provides free cancer services to those who are uninsured or underinsured including cancer screenings, transportation to and from treatment appointments, lymphedema garments, and post-mastectomy prostheses, garments and wigs.

About West Cancer Foundation

West Cancer Foundation is dedicated to advancing the fight against cancer by providing patient resources to improve treatment and recovery, early detection and education to reduce critical cancer outcomes, and community-based research to improve health inequities. The Memphis-based nonprofit was founded in 2020 and is committed to developing collaborative partnerships and innovative patient-centered initiatives that remove barriers to cancer care.  For more information, visit

About UT Health Science Center

The mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is transforming lives through collaborative and inclusive education, research, scholarship, clinical care, and public service. With six colleges – Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – at its main campus in Memphis, in addition to educational and clinical campuses at major hospitals in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville, and sites across the state, UTHSC strives to fulfill its vision: Healthy Tennesseans. Thriving Communities. For more information, visit You can find the University of Tennessee Health Science Center on FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.

Media Contacts

West Cancer Foundation
Lori Guyton
UT Health Science Center
Peggy Reisser

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