Congresswoman Castor and Moffitt Cancer Center Announce Infusion of Recovery Act Funding

June 17, 2009

Tampa, FL (June 17, 2009) –U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., Center Director and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, are pleased to announce the awarding of more than $6 million to support cancer research at Moffitt drawn from funds authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress earlier this year.                                 

"The Recovery Act is doing what Congress intended: creating and preserving jobs while investing in health care research, technology, energy independence and transportation and infrastructure improvements," Castor said. "With this money, researchers at Moffitt will have additional tools to continue their work in combating cancer."

“The Recovery Act offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen Moffitt’s ability to discover more effective ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer while also contributing to the economic recovery of our country,” said Dalton.

The newly funded research awards include the following projects which had been submitted in grant applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • $2,087,500 to Srikumar Chellappan, Ph.D., to examine the role of the human gene ID1 in the progression of non-small-cell lung cancer.
  • $783,190 to Dr. Javier F. Torres-Roca, to validate a model that uses genetic characteristics to predict response to radiation therapy.
  • $684,700 to Edward Seto, Ph.D., to investigate the interaction of a type of enzymes called histone deacetylases with certain proteins in the development and progression of cancer.
  • $498,000 to Dr. Claudio Anasetti, to evaluate the effectiveness of a new compound to control life-threatening complications associated with bone marrow transplants.
  • $459,000 to David Evans, Ph.D., to examine the role that specific genes play in attention deficits resulting from nicotine withdrawal. This research will inform the development of genetically personalized tobacco cessation programs.
  • $404,030 to John Koomen, Ph.D., to use mass spectrometry, similar to the methods used for drug testing in athletes, to detect and assess multiple myeloma using blood and urine collected from patients.

In addition, $1.5 million in Recovery Act funds was allocated by Florida to provide general operating support to Moffitt’s cancer research programs.

Moffitt has submitted or is planning to submit more than 80 separate applications for various NIH programs funded by the Recovery Act. This includes applications to support research instrumentation including bio-imaging systems and a photon microscope, as well as three multimillion-dollar applications to upgrade current research facilities and develop new laboratory space. These projects would bring hundreds of new jobs to the Tampa Bay area.

"Creating high-paying jobs in the Tampa Bay area is critical," Castor said. "Moffitt is well-poised to receive additional funding through the Recovery Act to bring more jobs and research to our region, and I will continue supporting Moffitt in its efforts to do so."

Many health research programs to be funded through the Recovery Act have yet to be announced, including additional NIH opportunities as well as initiatives to be administered through the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality and other entities within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Moffitt will respond to all such opportunities that hold potential to advance its institutional mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.