Research Spotlight

UOG Awarded $4.3M Grant to Continue Cancer Research

UOG Awarded $4.3M Frant to Continue Cancer Research


University of GuamPictured in this 2014 stock photo are the members of the UOG committee dedicated to supporting the efforts put forth by UOG and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in addressing heath disparities among Pacific Islanders in the region.


The University of Guam (UOG) has been awarded $4.3M grant to support its ongoing partnership with the University of Hawaii Cancer Center (UHCC), addressing cancer health disparities among Pacific Islanders in Hawaii, Guam and neighboring U.S. Associated Pacific Islands (USAPI).  Together with the UHCC’s award of $5.5M, the combined Partnership award brings nearly $10M in cancer research funding to the Pacific region. 

The UOG / UHCC Partnership is one of only 6 Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE), a program funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop cancer research capacity at institutions serving underserved health disparity populations and underrepresented students (ISUPS), and to explore factors contributing to cancer health disparities and their impact on underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.  The UOG/UHCC Partnership is the only partnership within NCI’s CPACHE program that serves Pacific Islanders, specifically Micronesians.

UOG President Robert Underwood, UOG Assistant Vice President Dr. John Peterson and Interim Associate Director of the UOG Western Pacific Tropical Research Center Dr. Rachael Leon Guerrero will serve as Principal Investigators for the grant.

“This was a very competitive grant process,” said Dr. Rachael Leon Guerrero. “We were competing with big schools like UCLA, UC-San Diego, University of North Carolina, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  To receive this funding along with some of the best cancer research centers in the United States is truly an honor.”

Research projects funded in this new 5-year cycle (2015-2020) include a cervical cancer prevention project designed to increase human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination uptake among Micronesian girls in Guam and Hawaii; an adult betel nut cessation intervention in Guam and Saipan – the first of its kind; and a study to identify molecular components of Areca (betel) nut that promote chronic inflammation (in the immune system), an important role in carcinogenesis.  Competitive funding to support future research projects will be available in years 4 and 5 of the partnership.

About the UOG / UHCC Partnership
The overarching goal of the UOG and UHCC Comprehensive Partnership to Achieve Health Equity is to establish its partnership as the national and international leader in advancing cancer health equity in Pacific Islanders. To achieve this goal, the partnership will continue to build on the success of the past twelve years in understanding and reducing cancer health disparities in the most isolated and most underserved group of minorities in the country, Americans of Pacific Islander ancestry, through focused research, outreach, and education.  The partnership began in 2009 after UOG and UHCC were awarded an initial $12.5M grant.

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