October 5, 2009

Phoenix lab gets cancer study grant

A share of federal research grants for study of the genetic roots of cancer will more than triple the workforce of a Phoenix laboratory, its chief said.

The International Genomics Consortium, at the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus, will receive some of the $275 million in federal research grants aimed toward finding the genetic roots of cancer. The project is called the Cancer Genome Atlas.

Although lab managers don't know exactly how much they will receive, they believe they may be able to add more than 100 high-paying professional jobs such as scientists and lab technicians.

Around the state, scientists secured 101 research grants worth a total of more than $33 million. The Atlas project is likely to be the largest. They are a portion of the $5 million in stimulus funds announced ;last week by President Obama.

The new grants come after a plateau in cancer funding.

There was no increase in federal funding for cancer research for five years -- that was devastating, Dr. David Alberts, director of the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, said. Now I'm encouraged.