May 19, 2022—(BRONX, NY)—The National Cancer Institute-designated Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center (MECC) has partnered with the Price Family Foundation to fund eight research teams developing novel cancer therapies and improving cancer outcomes for historically marginalized communities in the Bronx. The inaugural Price Family Foundation Health Equity Pilot Awards will provide $200,000 in funding over two years to each team and support basic science, translational, and clinical investigators focusing on cancers that are highly prevalent in the Bronx.
“Reducing cancer disparities means teasing apart and addressing the various causes of cancer—from the genetic and molecular to environmental and occupational exposures—that result in worse outcomes for Black, Brown, and other marginalized people in our country,” said Edward Chu, M.D., M.M.S., director of the MECC; vice president for cancer medicine at Montefiore Health System; and the Carol and Roger Einiger Professor of Cancer Medicine and professor of medicine, of oncology, and of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “We are grateful to have found a partner in the Price Family Foundation, which believes, as we do, in the importance of research that promotes health equity in the Bronx, which will inform cancer care here at our cancer center and throughout the country.”
Advancing Cancer Equity
The Bronx has one of the most diverse populations in the United States. Nearly 44% of people identify as Black or African American and 56% Hispanic; more than a third of residents were born in another country. Despite growing evidence that many molecular causes of cancer and disease progression are different in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) than in white people, BIPOCs are often excluded from clinical trials, and their genetic makeup is ignored in preclinical studies testing possible treatments.
“The Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center is committed to leading the way in identifying new molecular alterations, targets, and signaling pathways that can be the focus for new drugs, immunotherapies, and novel treatments among people of color,” Dr. Chu added, noting that the research will also help inform new strategies for early detection, screening, and prevention for all patients.
The winning proposals include a range of investigations for a variety of cancers—including lung, head and neck, prostate, gynecologic, and breast—that disproportionately affect Black, Asian, Hispanic, and other non-white populations. The pilot studies will help generate data that the investigators can use to apply for federal funding to further their research.
About Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2021-22 academic year, Einstein is home to 732 M.D. students, 190 Ph.D. students, 120 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and approximately 250 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 1,900 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2021, Einstein received more than $185 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in cancer, aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. For more information, please visit einsteinmed.org, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube.
About Montefiore Health System
Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 10 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information, please visit www.montefiore.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn, or view us on Facebook and YouTube.