$16 Million Awarded in Research Funding To Develop Treatments, Cures for Cancer, Tobacco Diseases


Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health announced that over $16 million in research funding was awarded to 20 projects through the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program and the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program. These funds, dispersed among a number of universities and cancer research centers across the state, will support researchers in their efforts to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and to develop cures for cancer and tobacco-related diseases.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida is at the forefront of cancer research and innovation, and I am proud to announce the recipients of more than $16.2 million for cancer research grants today. These 20 new projects will assist Florida’s world-class researchers in discovering more about how to prevent and treat these terrible diseases. Cancer impacts so many lives, and I am proud of the work of our incredible research institutes as we fight to find a cure.”

State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip said, “While we’ve made great strides, still so many Florida families are impacted by cancer and tobacco related disease. This funding will continue to aid our state’s premier research institutions in guiding important advances in the areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in Florida.”

The following organizations received awards:

  • Florida Atlantic University – $708,044 for one project;
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute – $4,514,756 for five projects;
  • Mayo Clinic – $815, 283 for one project;
  • University of Central Florida – $815, 283 for one project;
  • University of Florida – $2,993,885 for three projects;
  • University of Miami – $5,536,449 for 7 projects;
  • University of Miami/Miami VA – $57,500 for one project; and
  • University of South Florida and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center – $816,514 for one project.

The funding supports a new series of projects related to cancer and tobacco-related diseases, including prevention and treatment, health disparities, treatment-related morbidities and the development of investigational new drugs.

The cancer research focuses on the most common cancers such as breast, lung, skin and colon cancer. The Florida Department of Health awarded these grants based on rigorous peer review. The application process was competitive, with 224 researchers seeking funding.

Dr. Richard S. Nowakowski, Vice Chair of the Biomedical Research Advisory Council said, “The Florida Biomedical Research Program is delighted to be able to continue to recommend projects that improve the health and well-being of the people and patients of the state. The scientific community comes through every year with better and better proposals that bring long-term payoffs for our citizens and match the goals of the state’s biomedical research plan.”

Dr. Christopher Cogle, Chair of the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council said, “Supporting research through these funding opportunities helps us achieve our Florida Cancer Plan goals. The high number of applications to these programs is a strong signal of the important work by our state’s clinicians and scientists in detecting, preventing and treating cancer, which is a leading cause of death in Florida. We applaud the State for continuing to invest in these crucial programs.” Cogle added, “As we continue to recognize disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse groups in Florida, funding focused on improving health equity is a proactive step to reduce the burden of cancer among all Floridians.