Florida A&M University Awarded $1.3 Million Cancer Research Grant

Thanks to a $1,351,400 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University will be able to conduct groundbreaking research that helps to uncover a more effective way to treat lung, pancreatic, prostate and breast cancer.

The four-year grant will provide insight and support for intense research on four different type of cancers that often impact minorities and underserved communities. Dr. Nazarius Saah Lamango, professor of medical chemistry at FAMU will lead the research project, alongside FAMU associate professor Gebre-Egziabher Kiros, Ph.D., and University of Miami assistant professor Offiong F. Ikpatt, Ph.D.

“In the past four or five years, our research here at FAMU has helped us to identify a protein — an enzyme — that is very important for controlling the way cells survive, divide and multiply,” Dr. Lamango says on the university website. “We have found that this esterase enzyme is too active in various cancer types. The grant will help us with the funding needed for personnel equipment and supplies to take our research a step further towards the application of the knowledge we have gained about this protein — in regards to companion diagnosis and more effective cancer therapies.”

The professors leading the research project will also be assisted by three graduate students from FAMU’S College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences who say they are eager to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

“This research directly impacts our community. I don’t think people really know how difficult it is to find effective therapies for cancers,” said FAMU student Olufisayo Salako. “This is the reason why such cancers as triple negative breast cancer are silent killers in minority communities.”