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Emory Awarded Grant from National Cancer Institute

Tuesday, September 2, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Emory's Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) has been awarded a $1.9 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) Planning Grant. Michael Johns, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University, joined Governor Perdue to make the announcement during a press conference at the State Capitol.

"We are very excited about this important grant," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "It means we can continue to develop research collaborations among physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals throughout the state for the benefit of every Georgia citizen."

The planning grant is a first step in attaining Georgia's first-ever NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) designation, which has long been a strategic objective of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. The planning grant, known as a P-20 grant, will provide a minimum of $250,000 each year for five years to the WCI. NCI established the competitive P-20 grant to provide promising cancer centers assistance in establishing the research programs that are required for the CCC designation.

"This grant is an important step in the NCI designation process," said Dr. Johns. "NCI provides these grants only to academic centers that meet high qualitative and quantitative standards in cancer research and community outreach."

The next major step in gaining a CCC designation is the submission of a P-30 grant. A CCC designation would be a first for the State of Georgia and would provide tangible benefits to the state through increased access to clinical trials and a greater emphasis on community education regarding cancer prevention and early detection.

"WCI's ability to leverage Emory's resources as a major scientific research university with its strength in social sciences, public health, nursing, and statistics will result in customized, patient-centered therapies not available elsewhere in Georgia," said Dr. Thomas Lawley, Dean of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Jonathan Simons, MD, Director of WCI, will serve as planning director for the five-year grant. After joining Emory in February, 2000, Dr. Simons developed an aggressive recruiting plan to attract physicians and scientists to Emory and the WCI and to increase the level of peer-reviewed scientific research funded by the National Cancer Institute - both of which were key elements of the successful P-20 grant.