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Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer Funded by the National Cancer Institute

August 16, 2012

New Haven, Conn. - The National Cancer Institute has renewed its funding of the Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer grant for an additional 5 years, and a total of $11.5 million. The goals of the grant are to improve prevention, risk assessment, measures for diagnosis and prognosis, and therapies for patients with melanoma.

“We have seen exciting developments from the research funded through our SPORE in Skin Cancer over the last five years and are thrilled to be able to continue this important work with the help of the National Cancer Institute,” said Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., MD, Director of Yale Cancer Center and Physician-in-Chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

The Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Skin Cancer grant supports multidisciplinary research that extends from the laboratory bench to cancer patients in need. Ruth Halaban, senior research scientist in the Department of Dermatology and Yale Cancer Center member, is the principal investigator of the multi-faceted project.

“The team of researchers working within the SPORE grant spans the basic science and clinical departments around Yale University. The outcomes will be a reflection of the wide range of expertise involved in this project and we hope this will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of patients with melanoma,” said Halaban.

The main goal of the SPORE is to reveal biomarkers and targets for therapy based on state-of-the-art information from Next-Generation (Next-Gen) DNA sequencing, genomics, and proteomics analyses. There are four primary projects within the SPORE to accomplish the team’s research priorities, as well as Developmental Research and Career Development Programs, a Biospecimen Resource, and Bioinformatics/Biostatistics Cores that support the translational research needs of all investigators participating in the SPORE projects.

The SPORE includes investigators in Dermatology, Medical Oncology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Genetics, Immunobiology, Therapeutic Radiology, Surgery, Epidemiology and Public Health, Computational Biology, and Bioinformatics at Yale University.

Yale Cancer Center is one of a select network of 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute and the only one in Southern New England. Bringing together the resources of Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and Yale School of Medicine, its mission encompasses patient care, research, cancer prevention and control, community outreach and education.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on August 16, 2012