UTEP awarded $6.1m grant for cancer research and detection


UTEP campus | Photo courtesy UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is leading new research into Hispanic cancer disparities and early cancer detection with $6.1 million in funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

“As America’s leading Hispanic-serving university, UTEP is uniquely positions to study why cancer disparities exist and how to detect cancer early so that it could be treated,” said UTEP President, Heather Wilson.

Dr. Marc B. Cox, Department Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences at UTEP, was awarded over $5.8m to advance Hispanic cancer health disparities research. Additionally, Xiujun James Li, Associate Professor of Chemistry, received $250,000 to develop early cancer diagnosis methods for ovarian cancer.

“It usually can’t be detected until it is at an advanced stage…so it has a very high morality rate. Our aim is to develop early detection methods for ovarian cancer to prevent deaths and increase survival rates, especially in low -resource settings such as border land, rural areas and developing nation.”

Xiujun James Li, Associate Professor of Chemistry,

The grant will build a pipeline for researchers investigating cancer-related health disparities in Hispanic populations. The grant will fund five faculty members at UTEP each year for five years to investigate cancer in Hispanics of Mexican in the Paso del Norte region, including southern New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico.

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