UTPA – CTRC Border Partnership

The Latino/Hispanic population is the largest minority in the US and the highest concentration of Latinos is along the US-Mexico Border. To address the specific needs of this population in cancer research and education, a partnership between The University of Texas-Pan American and the Cancer Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has been developed as part of the Minority Serving Institution/Cancer Center program of the National Cancer Institute. The goals of this program are to develop research and training partnerships to increase the cancer research base on the US-Mexico border. The projects not only develop translational research in basic science but also address cancer related health disparities in the Hispanic border population. The specific goals of the partnership are: 1. To develop and foster cancer research at UTPA; 2. To foster research dedicated towards reducing the cancer burden of the Hispanic population with emphasis on the US-Mexico border, and 3. To increase the number of cancer researchers coming from South Texas. To accomplish these goals, two pilot projects and a training program have been developed. This multidimensional approach will heighten cancer research and education in the Hispanic/Latino population along the Texas border.

Pilot Project 1: Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds as New Anticancer Agents

Bimal Banik, Ph.D., UT Pan American and Susan Naylor, Ph.D., UTHSCSA The first pilot project is a basic science project which will take advantage of the expertise at UTPA to synthesize polycyclic aromatic compounds and expertise at UTHSCSA to test these compounds as anticancer agents.

Pilot Project 2: Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer: Understanding the decision making process among Latinas

Amelie Ramirez, Ph.D., IHPR of the UTHSCSA and Dejun Su, Ph.D., UT Pan American The second pilot project is directed toward understanding the attitudes and decision making processes in genetic testing for increased breast cancer risk.

Training Program 3: Undergraduate Summer Program in Cancer Biology

Scott Gunn, Ph.D., UT Pan American and Susan Naylor, Ph.D., UTHSCSA The third project is a summer undergraduate program for UTPA students to work in laboratories and to learn about cancer biology with the goal of increasing the number of students from communities in South Texas interested in cancer research.

For more information please contact:
Susan Naylor (Naylor@uthscsa.edu)
Bimal Banik (Banik@utpa.edu)
Amelie Rameriz (RamerizAG@uthscsa.edu)