Health & Environment

CPRIT Awards More Than $3.59 Million In Cancer Research, Prevention Grants To Texas A&M

March 5, 2018

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By Texas A&M University Research Communications and Public Relations

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded two academic research grants and one prevention grant to Texas A&M University totaling more than $3.59 million. The grants are among 57 new awards totaling more than $73.5 million that CPRIT recently announced in Austin.

Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing CPRIT and authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas.

Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau said, “This is an amazing state-funded program aimed at creating innovation and accelerating progress in the area of cancer research. These essential funds significantly enhance the ability of our outstanding researchers to fight cancer through exploratory, prevention and product development research programs.”

In all, Texas A&M received a total of $3,596,394 in funding from CPRIT, with slightly more than $2.09 million in two academic research grants and $1.499 million for a prevention grant.

The largest of the three awards is the $1.499 million prevention grant presented to Jane Bolin, professor at the School of Public Health, and David McClellan, a clinical assistant professor in the Family Medicine Residency program in the College of Medicine. The grant will allow Texas A&M to fund an established program called Cancer Screening, Training, Education and Prevention, or C-STEP, which trains family medicine resident physicians to increase access to affordable colonoscopies for underinsured or uninsured residents of 21 Texas counties.

An academic research grant for $1.2 million went to Deqiang Sun, assistant professor in the Center for Epigenetics and Disease Prevention at the Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, to fund a project titled, “DNA Methylation Signatures of Cell-Free DNA in CSF as a New Response Biomarker for Pediatric Medulloblastoma.” Under the grant, Sun will conduct research on an improved method for physicians to quickly and accurately deliver medical care to children with brain tumors. He will collaborate with Yun Huang, assistant professor at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology. The project will be carried out as a partnership with a team of researchers from Texas Children’s Hospital.

A second academic research grant for $897,394 went to Javier Jo, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, to support a project titled, “Novel Computer Aided Diagnosis System for Early Detection of Oral Cancer Based on Quantitative Autofluorescence Imaging.” Jo’s laboratory is mainly focused on developing multimodal rigid and flexible endoscopes for molecular and structural imaging of oral epithelial pre-cancer and cancer, and coronary atherosclerotic plaques.

To date, CPRIT has awarded $1.95 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached all 254 counties of the state; brought more than 150 distinguished researchers to Texas; advanced scientific and clinical knowledge; and provided more than 4 million life-saving education, training, prevention, and early detection services to Texans.

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2016), based on expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit


Media Contact: Rusty Cawley, (979) 458-1475,

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