This grant will build on the work and investments we have made locally and with direct state appropriations to increase cancer care and research in the region.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley this week received a $6 million cancer research grant from a state agency that will be used to research cancer disparities on the border.
State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, made the announcement Wednesday in a news release, which stated the grant came from the Cancer, Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT.
The money is part of the Texas Regional Excellence in Cancer, or TREC, grant, which is a program designed by CPRIT to strengthen cancer research at institutions in Texas that have historically received low levels of cancer research.
Hinojosa said that he and CPRIT board member Ambrosio Hernandez, who is also Pharr’s mayor, have been advocating for more cancer funding in South Texas.
“Congratulations to UTRGV for receiving this $6 million grant award from CPRIT which will further help strengthen cancer research in the Rio Grande Valley,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “This grant will build on the work and investments we have made locally and with direct state appropriations to increase cancer care and research in the region.”
The grant will support the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research.
“This Center is focused on reducing cancer health disparities in the border region,” Hinojosa’s news release stated. “The mission of the Center is to address and provide innovative scientific discoveries, reduce cancer-related health disparities in the Rio Grande Valley, improve the quality of patient care and serve as the leader for cancer research in the RGV.”
CPRIT also announced the award in a Wednesday news release when the agency said it took a major step forward in the fight against cancer when it approved more than $90 million in a new cancer research and prevention grant during its quarterly meeting near the Texas capitol.
The Center’s focus is reducing cancer health disparities in the border region, which has the nation’s highest cancer incidence and mortality rate and, consequently, bears a disproportionate share of the cancer burden.
The grant to UTRGV is one of 40 awarded across Texas at that meeting that fund a range of projects at major research hubs in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, but that also invest in “rapidly developing cancer research programs” on the border in the Rio Grande Valley and in El Paso.
“Today’s grants are an illustration of how CPRIT is fulfilling the original promise made to Texans at our founding,” Wayne Roberts, CPRIT CEO, said in a release. “From recruitment and prevention to grants boosting the development of cancer research in critical areas of Texas, today’s awards strengthen Texas’ position as a national leader in cancer research.”
The award to UTRGV is part of $18 million in TREC awards.
CPRIT said the UTRGV award is the first CPRIT-supported cancer research center in the region.
“The Center’s focus is reducing cancer health disparities in the border region, which has the nation’s highest cancer incidence and mortality rate and, consequently, bears a disproportionate share of the cancer burden,” CPRIT said in the release.
Roberts, the agency’s CEO, said the grant sends a strong statement.
“CPRIT made a strong statement today that whether the institution is located in Houston or El Paso, Dallas or McAllen, all areas of Texas contribute to making the Lone Star STate a national leader in the fight against cancer,” Roberts said.