Million Dollar Appropriation to Aid Obesity and Cancer Research at Memorial

(January 10, 2008) – Researchers at Memorial University Medical Center studying the link between obesity and gynecologic cancers received a $1.6 million federal appropriation. The appropriation was made possible through the work of U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston as a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

This funding will facilitate collaborative research between scientists at the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute* at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, and scientists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Senator Johnny Isakson, Senator Saxby Chambliss and Congressman John Barrow provided key support for this appropriation request as well.

“With this project, researchers are hoping to pinpoint the link between obesity and cancer deaths. Ultimately, their findings will help us create new prevention strategies and better treatment plans to save lives,” said Congressman Kingston.

This is the second round of funding for the project, which received a $1.35 million federal appropriation last December. Memorial researchers John Risinger, Ph.D., and Jeff Boyd, Ph.D., serve as principal investigators along with Lt. Col. Larry Maxwell, M.D., of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The Obesity and Cancer Program project is a collaborative effort aimed at understanding the biologic mechanisms that result in the increased incidence of gynecologic malignancies and cancer-related mortality associated with being overweight or obese. The program will focus on translating research findings related to the development of gynecologic cancers in overweight and obese individuals into new strategies for prevention and early diagnosis, new treatment regimens, and educational activities aimed at reducing this critical health problem.

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; 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.