UNTHSC splits $2.2 million cancer disparities grant

By Alex Branch

Cancer Web

A new collaboration between UNT Health Science Center and Langston University seeks to reduce cancer health disparities and prepare minority scholars to perform ground-breaking medical research.

UNTHSC and Langston, a historically black college in Oklahoma, recently celebrated the awarding of a $2.2 million grant by the National Cancer Institute. The institutions will split the money, which will be paid over four years.

Harlan Jones
Harlan Jones, PhD

There are only four other similar funded projects active nationally, and those involve M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Duke University, Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine.

“We are honored to be among the few institutions selected for this award that will allow our cancer researchers to greatly support cancer education and research at Langston University,” said Jamboor Vishwanatha, PhD, Project Director for the Texas Center for Health Disparities. “Through this partnership, we will share increased knowledge and awareness of the cancer needs in underserved communities and contribute to the fight against cancer and cancer disparities.”

Cancer health disparities are high in Texas and Oklahoma. Health care access, socioeconomics, culture, environment and shifting demographics are all factors contributing to disparities. Meanwhile, there is a shortage of minorities with PhDs in the workforce.

The partnership provides valuable mentorship and networking by matching Langston students with UNTHSC researchers. About 40 Langston students will gain experience in research laboratories on the UNTHSC campus during the life of the grant.

The partnership includes two collaborative research projects. One project is intended to create innovative approaches to increase the immune system’s ability to prevent lung cancer metastases. The other project targets a cell surface expression to prevent prostate cancer bone metastases.

Research will occur at both campuses, said Harlan Jones, PhD, Director of the UNHSC Center for Diversity and International Programs. Langston was previously able to improve its research infrastructure through a NASA grant that it also shared with UNTHSC.

The institutions are long-time partners with a history of success, Dr. Jones said.

“This is a true partnership,” Dr. Jones said. “We have many faculty performing innovative cancer research at UNT Health Science Center, and we are excited to collaborate once again with Langston University.”

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
Garciarosanski
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of HSC experts develops national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...