Memorial Research Scientist Named Distinguished Scholar

(November 30, 2007) -- Dominique Broccoli, Ph.D., leader of the cancer biology and genetics program at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, is among 29 scientists across the state to be selected as a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar for 2008. Broccoli will receive $150,000 in funding annually for five years for a total Coalition commitment of $750,000. Broccoli was recruited to Savannah from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia in 2006. She works closely with physicians and other scientists at the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute (ACI)* at Memorial University Medical Center. Broccoli is a professor in the Department of Basic Medical Science and the Department of Medicine and Surgery at Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah campus. Two additional Distinguished Cancer Scholars recruited to Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Shi-Wen Jiang, M.D., and Edward Perkins, Ph.D., will have joint research appointments in the ACI when they join the faculty this winter. Broccoli's research focuses on defining the molecular genetics of human cancer, with the ultimate goal of being able to define who gets cancer, how tests detecting cancer can be developed, and how cancer responds to therapy. She is an associate editor of Cancer Research magazine, the author of 34 peer-reviewed articles and six book chapters and review articles, a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Molecular Genetics C grant review panel and an ad-hoc grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and the Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom. Her research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Program, the NIH, The Ellison Medical Foundation and The V Foundation. "This year's group of Distinguished Scholar applicants was exceptionally strong and these individuals are to be congratulated for their outstanding accomplishments. This means we now have eight physicians and researchers at MUMC who have earned Distinguished Scholar recognition and funds. The research we're conducting will improve the lives of people with cancer and change the way we treat the disease," says Jeff Boyd, Ph.D., vice president, oncology and research at MUMC and a fellow Distinguished Cancer Scholar. The Georgia Cancer Coalition cooperates with Georgia's research universities, medical schools, hospitals, and nursing programs to recruit research scientists, with the goal of strengthening the state's research talent, capacity, and infrastructure. Since its inception in 2001, the Georgia Cancer Coalition has named 113 Distinguished Scholars. Scholar funding is an investment in Georgia's future as a national leader in cancer control and helps bring increased funding to Georgia for cancer research. The sponsoring institutions must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar match. The review committee examines the scholars' history of grants, publications, and patents, and considers the researcher's potential for attracting future funding. In fiscal year 2007, the Coalition's Distinguished Scholars were responsible for securing $47 million in privately and federally funded research grants within the state of Georgia. Scholar selection is based on how the applicant's research relates to the goals of the Coalition, the research priorities of the National Cancer Institute, and the strategic plan of the sponsoring institution. Each application is reviewed by both an external scientific review committee and an advisory review committee, appointed by the Coalition in cooperation with Georgia's research universities. Kate Canterbury, director of research programs, staffs the Coalition committees. Members rank scholars according to predetermined scientific and technical criteria. "The National Cancer Institute has identified areas of discovery that hold promise for making significant progress against all cancers. The Distinguished Scholar Program is the cornerstone of the Georgia Cancer Coalition's efforts to advance scientific discovery into the prevention, treatment, causes, and cures of cancer. These scientists play an important role in positioning Georgia as a national leader in cancer research," says Bill Todd, president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. The Georgia Cancer Coalition is an independent, not-for-profit organization that unites government agencies, academic institutions, civic groups, corporations, and health care organizations in a concerted effort to strengthen cancer prevention, research, and treatment in Georgia, with the ultimate goal of making Georgia one of the nation's premier states for cancer care. Its mission is to reduce the number of cancer-related deaths in Georgia. The Coalition is the first of its kind in the nation and is fast becoming a national model. For further information, the official Website is www.georgiacancer.org. Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed tertiary medical center; CareOne, its two-state home care division; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. Memorial University Medical Center is the only hospital in the country to be named both a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates and one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune magazine. *The Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial University Medical Center is not affiliated with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.