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Two researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) received awards from the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, HCI researcher and U of U assistant professor of public health, was awarded the 2020 V Scholar Grant. Jennifer Doherty, PhD, MS, researcher and co-leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at HCI and U of U associate professor of population health sciences, received the 2020 Robin Roberts Cancer Thrivership Research Award.
The V Foundation Scholar Grant awarded to Rogers is designed to fund high-impact cancer research projects led by faculty who are early in their careers. With this grant, Rogers and his team will assess causes and burdens associated with early-onset colorectal cancer, working to improve long-term survivorship and quality of life for those who have been diagnosed with this preventable, treatable, and beatable disease, coined as "one no one has to die from." Rogers will receive $200,000 over two years to advance this research.
"This is my first Foundation grant—which are very competitive, so it means a lot to join the V Foundation family," says Rogers. "Especially since funding for my award came from the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, created for the well-known ESPN sportscaster. Moreover, the rising incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer is an issue I have been studying among African American men specifically for nearly 10 years, so this is special."
The Robin Roberts Cancer Thrivership Research Award given to Doherty supports areas related to survivorship. Doherty will use this award to research how receipt of guideline-concordant treatment and survival in ovarian cancer is affected when other health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension are also present, and if these comorbidities partially explain the worse survival experienced by Black women. Doherty will receive $600,000 over three years to advance this research.
"I am passionate about trying to understand the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in ovarian cancer survival," Doherty says. "This award will allow us to better understand how comorbidities and related inflammatory tumor markers impact disparities in treatment, treatment response, and survival."
Read more about the V Foundation cancer research grants.