An internationally-recognized cancer research team is leaving one Kentucky university for another.
A group of top researchers is leaving the University of Louisville for the University of Kentucky, one month after UK announced it was becoming home to the state’s first National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
The Courier-Journal reports the four researchers will establish the UK Center for Regulatory and Environmental Analytical Metabolomics, or UK-CREAM. The center is expected to bring to UK over $17-million in federal funding over five years.
Officials at UK say they didn’t actively recruit the U of L researchers, but were instead approached by them.
One of the researchers, Andrew Lane, said he and colleagues made the move because UK was in “an expansion phase, particularly in cancer, which is very attractive to us.”
Kentucky has gained new clout in its fight against cancer, resulting from the rising status of the cancer center at its flagship university.
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center in Lexington on Friday earned the designation as a National Cancer Institute facility. It becomes the 68th medical center in the country to receive the prestigious title and the only one in Kentucky.
The designation has the potential to bring millions of dollars of additional research funding to the Markey Center.
It also means patients will have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
UK President Eli Capilouto says it signals that Kentucky will "no longer indulge the scourge of cancer."
Kentucky is at or near the top nationally in several cancer rates.
A new study shows an increase in lung cancer deaths among Tennessee women who began smoking in the 1960s and 70s. Researchers point out women smokers became much more socially acceptable during that era.
Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky. The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings.