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Georgia CORE awards Cancer Research Fund grant to two teams

5/10/2024, Georgia CORE

Just in time for Cancer Research Month, Georgia CORE has awarded two teams a Collaborative Cancer Research Seed Grant from the Georgia Cancer Research Fund. $100,000 has been awarded to principal investigators (from top left):







  • Claire A. Spears, PhD, Associate Professor at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, and
  • Martha S. Tingen, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Medicine at the Augusta University’s Georgia Prevention Institute and Georgia Cancer Center.T

The second $100,000 award goes to PIs (from left):

  • Jin Xie, PhD, Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Georgia and
  • Yong Teng, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute.

"We're thrilled that this year Georgians have contributed enough that we are able to fund two collaborative research teams, collectively representing four different institutions," said Lynn Durham, EdD, Georgia CORE's president and CEO. “Part of our mission is to nurture collaboration among Georgia’s phenomenal research institutions, and we know these awards will have a tremendous impact on advancing cancer research in our state.” 

The GSU/AU team is conducting research titled, “A Pilot Study of Mobile Health Messaging to Facilitate Lung Cancer Screening Among Priority Populations.” Drs. Spears and Tingen will tackle the leading cause of cancer death, lung cancer. Tobacco use is the main risk factor for lung cancer, and low-income and African American adults – who are more likely to die from lung cancer than higher-income and white adults – tend to have less success quitting smoking. Through qualitative research and a clinical trial intervention, the team will develop a combined approach to promote both quitting smoking and increasing screening, which can save lives from lung cancer.

The UGA/Winship team will research “Enhancing Head and Neck Cancer Sensitivity to Radiation with Synthetic Lipoprotein Nanoparticles.” Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer, but despite new technologies, the chance of surviving five years after diagnosis for severe cases hasn't improved much in the last 30 years. Immunotherapy for recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer has proven to only work in about 15-20% of patients. Drs. Xie and Teng are investigating a natural product and cholesterol analog that may potentially make radiation and immunotherapy more effective at killing head and neck cancer cells.

In its third award cycle, the Collaborative Cancer Research Seed Grant provides seed funding for a cancer research project that involves two or more Georgia institutions or organizations that will collaborate on new research. The grants come from the state's Cancer Research Fund, which is made up of donations from Georgia tax filers who make a quick and easy indication on their GA 500 forms.

“Every year Georgia CORE has received a greater number of proposals than the year before,” said Sheryl Gabram, MD, Georgia CORE’s Chief Scientific Officer who oversaw the review process. “We are excited by the level of collaboration and sophistication of the submissions, many of which are novel pilot studies that could lead to further studies and larger grants, bringing more research resources to Georgia.”

Read more about the Georgia Cancer Research Fund here >>


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Georgia CORE awards Cancer Research Fund grant to two teams

Georgia CORE has awarded two teams a Collaborative Cancer Research Seed Grant from the Georgia Cancer Research Fund.


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