The 2013-2014 Annual Report for the University Cancer Research Fund (UCRF) is now available. The UCRF, a $42 million, state-appropriated fund established in 2007, continues to have a significant impact on cancer research in North Carolina. Download the PDF here.
Despite declining national research funding, cancer research support to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has grown between 2007 and 2013. With the UCRF investment, UNC-Chapel Hill has moved to 7th in National Institutes of Health funding in FY 2013. Without UCRF-driven grants, UNC Chapel Hill would have ranked 17th.
The report highlights several key research initiatives supported by the UCRF. Select highlights of these initiatives include:
- A team of UNC researchers are now enrolling patients in a clinical trial to test a better mammogram using a new x-ray imaging system which could improve the early detection of breast cancer.
- More than 1,000 patients have been enrolled in UNCseq, UNC’s new genetic sequencing protocol that is helping provide customized cancer care for individual patients. The program’s research is designed to make cancer treatments more effective.
- The Carolina Breast Cancer Study (CBCS) — the largest-ever population-based study of breast cancer in North Carolina and one of the largest in the world – has enrolled its 3000th patient and is now in the five-year follow-up phase (Phase III) of a project that has already spanned two decades. CBCS Phase I and II made groundbreaking discoveries regarding the genomics of breast cancer in younger African-American women. Phase III will be a national model for studying why the death rate for African-American women is higher than those of whites.
The UCRF has also led to the hiring and retention of 180 outstanding UNC cancer researchers, has directly supported nearly 1,000 employees and created the equivalent of more than 900 new jobs.
The UCRF also enhances spin-off commercialization efforts and intellectual property, adding new innovations to the nation’s fourth-largest cluster of life science industries. In the past six years, 18 startup companies have been launched or expanded their scope with direct UCRF help. These new companies are attracting external grant support and venture capital investment, as well as creating private-sector jobs.
For more information on the UCRF, please visit ucrf.unc.edu.