The purpose of the IRG program is to support the development of new investigators to conduct independent cancer research, foster direct relationships between funded institutions and the local ACS, and support research by newly independent investigators in areas of special interest.
ACS has a long history of partnership with UAB in research activities as well as cancer interventions. The ACS awarded its first research grant to UAB in 1957, and to date it has awarded 206 grants for research at UAB for a total of more than $30 million. Each year, junior faculty compete through a rigorous peer review process to receive one of four awards totaling $120,000 per year. The intent is that the IRG grant will provide new investigators with seed money to garner additional funding and take their research to the next level.
At a recent symposium, the Cancer Center showcased successful past ACS projects which ranged from research on genomic instability, DNA repair and new combination chemotherapies for cancer to physical activity interventions for African-American women in the Deep South.
This year’s recipients are Rebecca Arend, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology; Farrukh,Afaq, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology; Purnima Singh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology; and Jennifer DeBerry, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology. Projects this year range from developing new treatments for ovarian cancer and melanoma to understanding the side effects of chemotherapy.