Partnership Overview


African-Americans suffer a disproportionate share of the cancer burden, with overall cancer mortality rate averaging one third higher than Caucasian Americans. Furthermore, for cancers such as prostate or cervical cancer where treatment can be effective, the rates of treatment failure or recurrence are higher in African Americans. This partnership will help address these health disparities by promoting minority-targeted research, and by developing the research infrastructure capacity and effectiveness of NCCU.


The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) propose to continue an effective, sustainable, and mutually beneficial partnership in Cancer Research that focuses on African-American health disparities. During the past eight years and with funding from the NCI, the two institutions have firmly established the Partnership by building on complementary institutional strengths, conducting joint planning in molecular cancer research, population-based research and training of junior faculty and students. The Partnership now proposes to expand these initiatives through an NCI-funded Cooperative Planning Grant (U54) for Comprehensive Partnerships to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. Our objectives are: (1) To expand research collaborations among the two institutions; (2) To use research activities in and outside the U54 mechanism to train students and junior/mid-level faculty in multidisciplinary research aimed at reducing cancer disparities; and (3) To expand and consolidate programs of community outreach and education. The strengths of each institution are uniquely positioned to overcome the weaknesses found in the other to achieve these priorities. Specific collaborative components of the proposal include: 3 full projects in basic cancer research, one full and two pilot projects in community outreach, one minority training project, and one shared resource to enhance NCCU infrastructure and the partnership. The extensive expertise, and resources of LCCC in cancer research and cancer education training, the demonstrated interest in minority health disparities and the experience of NCCU in reaching minority populations, faculty and students, are complementary institutional strengths that will help the Partnership: 1) establish an effective cancer research infrastructure/program and increase training opportunities at a minority serving institution; and 2) enhance community- and population-based research targeting minority cancer-related health disparities and increase training of minority scientists at an NCI-funded Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Co-Principal Investigators

M. Ricardo Richardson, PhD

H. Shelton Earp, MD

M. Ricardo Richardson, PhD

NC Central University

Shelley Earp, MD

UNC Lineberger