Rogel Cancer Center receives five-year, $33.4M NCI grant renewal


The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center a grant worth $33.4 million over five years. At the same time, the center’s designation as a “comprehensive cancer center” was renewed.

The grant is a renewal of the center’s support grant, provided as part of the NCI’s cancer centers program. U-M is in its 30th year of NCI funding for its cancer center. The new grant will fund the center through 2023. It represents a 9 percent increase over the previous support grant.

“This grant award reflects the tremendous breadth and depth of resources we have here at the University of Michigan. Rogel Cancer Center members take advantage of unique collaborations in top-ranked schools and colleges, engaging disciplines not typically thought to be central to attacking the cancer problem,” says Eric R. Fearon, Emanual N. Maisel Professor of Oncology and director of the Rogel Cancer Center.

The center submitted a 2,109-page grant renewal request to the NCI in May 2017 and underwent a rigorous full-day site visit by reviewers in the fall. Overall, the center received an “outstanding” rating.

The grant supports seven research programs in basic science, clinical and translational research, and population sciences. It also provides funding for 13 shared resources, clinical trials oversight, educational programs and community outreach efforts.

Reviewers cited the center’s major strengths in applying genetics and genomics into clinical practice, calling the Rogel Cancer Center a national leader in tumor gene sequencing. It also cited major strengths in hematopoiesis, immunology and understanding the signaling pathways involved in cancer. Additional achievements were noted in cancer epidemiology, prevention, and health behavior and outcomes research.

“Under Dr. Fearon’s direction and expertise, the (Rogel Cancer Center) is expected to further enhance its translational capabilities into the clinic and to the populations in its catchment area. This application is of high impact due to the strong depth and breadth of science across basic, clinical and population-based cancer research,” the reviewers note.

To earn the designation of “comprehensive cancer center,” an institution must participate in basic, clinical, and prevention and control research, with strong interactions among those areas. A center must also provide public information, education and outreach programs.

The Rogel Cancer Center is one of two comprehensive cancer centers in Michigan and one of 49 across the country.

Fearon was named director of the center in 2016. He led a transformational reorganization of the center’s leadership, who worked together to develop a new strategic plan for the organization. In March 2018, Richard and Susan Rogel committed $150 million to the newly named Rogel Cancer Center.


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