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CPRIT awards $11.3 million in cancer-prevention and scholar-recruitment grants to Texas A&M and agencies


The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded three grants totaling $11.3 million to Texas A&M University and its agencies, the Division of Research announced today. The grants are among 74 new statewide awards totaling more than $112 million that CPRIT recently announced in Austin.

Texas A&M and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) will use their grants to recruit two outstanding researchers. The third grant will expand a screening program for colorectal cancer through Texas A&M Health.

“CPRIT’s support through the citizens of the state of Texas has positioned Texas and the Texas A&M research enterprise to tackle significant health issues impacting our country,” Interim Vice President for Research Jack G. Baldauf said. “The addition of these two scholars, along with the expansion of a proven cancer-screening program, are just the latest examples of CPRIT’s ongoing commitment to expedite innovation in cancer research and prevention strategies.”

In the category of Recruitment Grants, TEES will receive $5.9 million to hire Vanderlei Bagnato, professor, Department of Physics and Materials Science at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bagnato becomes the first South American scholar recruited by a Texas university on a CPRIT grant. Bagnato was a Hagler Fellow, Class of 2018-19, at Texas A&M’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.

CPRIT also awarded Texas A&M a $2.9 million grant to recruit Alison R. Fout, associate professor, Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The CPRIT Scholar program gives the state an undisputed competitive edge by recruiting the most innovative minds in cancer research to come to Texas institutions and conduct their work.

In the category of Prevention Grants, CPRIT awarded $2.5 million to Jason McKnight, clinical assistant professor, Department of Primary Care and Population Health, and director, Residency Recruitment, Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency Program, College of Medicine, Texas A&M Health, to support a project titled, “Leveraging Texas C-STEP’s Robust Rural Partnerships for Successful Expansion of its Proven Colorectal Cancer Screening Program to include HCV Screening.”