SUNY Downstate to receive ‘Cancer Moonshot’ grant from feds
EAST FLATBUSH — SUNY Downstate Health Science University in East Flatbush is one of three health institutions in the New York metro area, and five nationwide, to receive funding from the federal government as part of its Cancer Moonshot program to reduce inequities in cancer treatment.
The other two institutions in New York city are Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University. The $9.8 million five-year grant, to be spread among the three above-named institutions, will focus on intergenerational cancer awareness, prevention and control, and cancer survivor care among African-American and Hispanic communities where persistent poverty exists.
In Brooklyn, the program, to be led by Weill Cornell’s Center for Social Capital, will focus on the North-Central part of the borough. It is slated to work for reduced cancer health inequities by promoting educational programs for youth and training programs for fellows, research coordinators and faculty.
Faculty members from SUNY Downstate, Columbia University School of Nursing, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will develop a specialized research center and lead two large multigenerational health projects in North-Central Brooklyn as well as Washington Heights, Western Queens and the South Bronx.
The first project will examine the impact of a six-week cancer education and social justice curriculum in 10 New York City public schools. The second project will focus on a stop-smoking trial program at federally qualified health centers.
Marlene Camacho-Rivera, student affairs assistant dean and community health sciences assistant professor at Downstate, will lead the Developmental Core, whose role is to build capacity for cancer prevention and research in affected areas of poverty, provide resources for these programs, and support investigators who will reach out to people affected by these problems.
The grant will also support scientists, aspiring physicians, and other healthcare professionals from underrepresented communities.
Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn is one of four academic health centers the State University of New York’s 64-campus system and the only SUNY health center dedicated to health education, research, and patient care for Brooklyn’s 2.7 million residents. Its flagship hospital, University Hospital at Downstate, is a teaching hospital and benefits from the expertise of Downstate’s medical school and academic center research facilities.
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