The University of Guam and the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center have each been awarded a five-year grant totaling more than $ 14 million to reduce the impact of cancer on the Pacific Islands through cancer research, career training, and community outreach. The collaboration between the two universities, known as the Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity (PIPCHE), will be funded by the National Cancer Institute until 31 August 2025.
Funds from PIPCHE are used to support the research infrastructure needed to address significant cancer health disparities in the Pacific.
“PIPCHE has been truly transformational for research here at UOG for this region,” said Rachael Leon Guerrero, Ph.D., RD, principal investigator of the grant and vice-chancellor of research and sponsored programs at the University of Guam. “Prior to PIPCHE, there was very little cancer and health-related research going on that was relevant to the Guam population. Now we have several federal research grants studying cancer, childhood obesity, cardiometabolic health, and dementia.”
PIPCHE is the only NCI-funded Pacific-based partnership addressing cancer disparities in other US-affiliated Hawai’i, Guam and Pacific Island communities, which include the Northern Mariana Islands, American Sāmoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau . It also provides research training for students and early career scientists while engaging the public in outreach activities to advance knowledge, awareness, behavior change and public health policies in Guam and Hawai’i.
“We are using cancer research as a platform to bring equity and resilience to indigenous Pacific peoples,” said Neal A. Palafox, MD, MPH, UH Cancer Center researcher and principal investigator of the grant at UHCC. “… The investment has brought cancer researchers and scientific leaders native to the Pacific, relevant Pacific-based interventions for addressing cancer disparities, and has increased the capacity for both institutions to understand and achieve cancer health justice in the Pacific.”
The first PIPCHE grant was awarded to the University of Guam and the UH Cancer Center in 2003.Since then, the fund has supported 25 research projects, trained more than 100 underrepresented students and early career scientists, contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and , in the last cycle alone, raised more than $ 34 million in additional external funding to explore research questions unique to the Pacific region.
“17 years have been an exciting and eye-opening journey,” said Palafox.
Cancer prevention and control in the Pacific is a joint mission between the UH Cancer Center, the University of Guam, and their collaborators. PIPCHE provides a platform to do more than any agency alone can accomplish.
This partnership effort was directed by Leon Guerrero and Palafox as well as the Dean of the UOG Health Faculty Margaret Hattori-Uchima, Ph.D., RN, and Director of the UH Cancer Center Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA, along with other teams. than 50 investigators and staff at partner institutions.
Rejection: AAAS and EurekAlert! is not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing to the institution or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.