Comprehensive NAU/AZCC Cancer Research Partnership

Project: Research projectSpecialized Center--Cooperative Agreements


DESCRIPTION: In the face of improved US cancer
survival, cancer mortality in American Indians is increasing. Cultural
differences make addressing this disparity challenging. The paucity of
American Indian health care providers, almost none oncologists, compounds the
situation. American Indian patients, unable to effectively communicate with
providers, become isolated from cancer diagnosis and treatment and are rarely
recruited into clinical trials. While the need for American Indian
oncologists is therefore urgent, few American Indians enter health care
professions. While most universities have dismal recruitment and retention
rates, Northern Arizona University (NAU) has a distinguished history of
graduating Native American students. At NAU, however, there is no cancer
research core to provide cancer education to American Indian students and
communities. In this partnership, we will link research programs of the
Arizona Cancer Center (AZCC) with American Indian student training programs
and environmental research at NAU. While informal faculty interaction exists, there is currently no comprehensive plan to enhance cancer research at NAU or
to coordinate American Indian student recruitment and retention at NAU and
UofA/AZCC. The objectives of this proposal are to (1)initiate robust cancer
research at NAU to enhance faculty career development and train students in
cancer research fundamentals; (2) create stable, long-term cancer research,
education, and outreach collaboration; and (3) improve institutional
effectiveness in impacting the disparity in cancer in American Indians of the
Southwest. Research programs will focus on the carcinogenic effects of
chemicals associated with the mining industry on reservations. American
Indian students have a vital interest in the data. Thus this vested interest
greatly enhances our potential to recruit and retain these students and to
provide future American Indian cancer researchers and oncologists. The
program is guided by administrative, planning and developmental cores at each
institution. Research activities include basic science, cancer education, and
community outreach components. We propose 6 pilot projects, 4 full projects,
and recruitment of 2 new faculty over the project lifetime.
Effective start/end date6/20/0211/30/09


  • National Institutes of Health: $808,717.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $983,931.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $200,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $1,091,904.00


North American Indians
Health Personnel
Research Personnel
Clinical Trials


  • Medicine(all)