UT Tyler Health Science Center Receives More Than $3 Million in CPRIT Grant Funding

– Funding to address cancer prevention disparity needs –

TYLER, Texas (August 23, 2022) – The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee approved approximately $3.5 million to The University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center (HSC) to fund two CPRIT cancer prevention related programs.

“I am so proud of our Preventive Medicine team,” said UT Tyler School of Medicine Dean Brigham Willis, MD, MEd, FAAP. “These grants, focused on access to care and prevention of major health problems, are perfectly mission-aligned with our new medical school. It is inspiring to think of the improvements in health that will be realized as a result of this funding.”

With the assistance of $997,120, the DEFEAT (Delivering Education, Focused Navigation, and Equitable Access throughout East Texas) program will focus on recruiting underserved and uninsured women, between 40 to 75 years of age, to have proper access to breast cancer screenings.

The grant will impact mostly rural populations, which pose unique challenges related to access, delivery of education and provision of breast cancer screening services. It aims to reach African American and Black populations that have statistically shown greater incidence rates related to breast cancer in the Northeast Texas region.

“People in East Texas have many challenges when it comes to preventive health care,” said Paul McGaha, DO, MPH, Department Chair of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. “In partnering with our communities, we hope to provide more timely breast cancer screens in order to detect disease at earlier stages.”

In addition to the new prevention program, HSC also received $2,482,127 in funding for the continued expansion of the Colorectal Cancer Prevention grant “Screening to Optimize Prevention of CRC in East Texas.”

“We are so excited that the continued, diligent work of the colorectal cancer team was recognized as one of the prevention grant awardees across Texas,” said Community Health Program Director Carlton Allen, MS, CHW, CHES. “We have been screening East Texans for several years and are happy that we can continue the great work done at the Health Science Center. Coupled with this new breast cancer grant, we have the opportunity to truly impact the cancer disparities in East Texas.”

Both grants will be initiated on Sept. 1, 2022.

With a mission to improve educational and healthcare outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT Tyler offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs to 10,000 students. UT Tyler recently merged with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (now known as UT Tyler Health Science Center). Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center (HSC) and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research and excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.

For additional information, contact Rachel French at (903) 752-8640.