Four USC Junior Faculty members were recently awarded one-year pilot grants for $30,000 each as part of “SOAR (Supporting Outstanding Academic Research in Oncology) USC” American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG) program.  Awardees were: Eugenia Broude, PhD, “Targeting CDK8 to overcome resistance to targeted therapies in breast cancer;" Nancy Fleischer, PhD, MPH, “Determining the impact of point-of-sale marketing on smoking cessation behavior;”   Kevin Lu, PhD, “Sitagliptin exposure and the risk of pancreatic cancer among patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus; and Otis (Shaun) Owens, PhD, MPH, “The evaluation of a computer-based education program to promote informed decision making for prostate cancer screening among African-American men in faith-based communnities.” 

The ACS IRG is an institutional award that enables USC to provide small pilot research grants to beginning investigators in cancer research.   Charles L Bennett, MD, PhD, MPP, SmartState Endowed Chair of Medication Safety and Efficacy and Professor of Pharmacy, SC College of Pharmacy (SCCP) is the Principal Investigator of this prestigious ACS IRG award. The $360,000 three-year grant provides funding for four awards a year focusing on cancer research (including one award targeting poor and underserved populations). The goal of the ACS IRG is to attract beginning investigators into cancer research, and to support their research projects so they can obtain data that will allow them to complete successfully for peer-reviewed extramural research grants.

All proposals were peer-reviewed by members of the USC ACS IRG Steering Committee based on the cancer relevance of the study and the probability of the results providing data that had a high likelihood of success in peer-review funding. Four projects were selected from the 12 proposals submitted for SOAR-USC in January 2015 to support the following work:

  • Dr. Eugenia Broude, Assistant Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, South Carolina College of Pharmacy on the USC campus, will analyze the synergistic effects of specific drugs targeting either estrogen receptor or receptor tyrosine kinase HER2 to reduce resistance of certain breast cancers to targeted agents.    
  • Dr. Nancy Fleischer, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, will study the impact of point-of-sale (POS) marketing and density of retail outlets on smoking in vulnerable populations.  
  • Dr. Kevin Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, SC College of Pharmacy at USC, will explore the association between the use of sitagliptin and the risk of pancreatic cancer among patients with type-2 Diabetes.
  • Dr. Otis (Shaun) Owens, Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work, will evaluate the impact of a computer-based decision aid for prostate cancer screening on African-American men’s prostate cancer knowledge, self-efficacy, and participation in decision-making.   

The current ACS IRG pilot awards run from April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016. To learn more about other ACS research opportunities, visit the ACS website at http://www.cancer.org

Four USC Junior Faculty members were recently awarded one-year pilot grants for $30,000 each as part of “SOAR (Supporting Outstanding Academic Research in Oncology) USC” American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG) program.  Awardees were: Eugenia Broude, PhD, “Targeting CDK8 to overcome resistance to targeted therapies in breast cancer;" Nancy Fleischer, PhD, MPH, “Determining the impact of point-of-sale marketing on smoking cessation behavior;”   Kevin Lu, PhD, “Sitagliptin exposure and the risk of pancreatic cancer among patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus; and Otis (Shaun) Owens, PhD, MPH, “The evaluation of a computer-based education program to promote informed decision making for prostate cancer screening among African-American men in faith-based communnities.” 

The ACS IRG is an institutional award that enables USC to provide small pilot research grants to beginning investigators in cancer research.   Charles L Bennett, MD, PhD, MPP, SmartState Endowed Chair of Medication Safety and Efficacy and Professor of Pharmacy, SC College of Pharmacy (SCCP) is the Principal Investigator of this prestigious ACS IRG award. The $360,000 three-year grant provides funding for four awards a year focusing on cancer research (including one award targeting poor and underserved populations). The goal of the ACS IRG is to attract beginning investigators into cancer research, and to support their research projects so they can obtain data that will allow them to complete successfully for peer-reviewed extramural research grants.

All proposals were peer-reviewed by members of the USC ACS IRG Steering Committee based on the cancer relevance of the study and the probability of the results providing data that had a high likelihood of success in peer-review funding. Four projects were selected from the 12 proposals submitted for SOAR-USC in January 2015 to support the following work:

  • Dr. Eugenia Broude, Assistant Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, South Carolina College of Pharmacy on the USC campus, will analyze the synergistic effects of specific drugs targeting either estrogen receptor or receptor tyrosine kinase HER2 to reduce resistance of certain breast cancers to targeted agents.    
  • Dr. Nancy Fleischer, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, will study the impact of point-of-sale (POS) marketing and density of retail outlets on smoking in vulnerable populations.  
  • Dr. Kevin Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, SC College of Pharmacy at USC, will explore the association between the use of sitagliptin and the risk of pancreatic cancer among patients with type-2 Diabetes.
  • Dr. Otis (Shaun) Owens, Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work, will evaluate the impact of a computer-based decision aid for prostate cancer screening on African-American men’s prostate cancer knowledge, self-efficacy, and participation in decision-making.   

The current ACS IRG pilot awards run from April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016. To learn more about other ACS research opportunities, visit the ACS website at http://www.cancer.org