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 North Carolina Central University.


The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) will continue their effective and mutually beneficial partnership focusing on African-American health disparities. During the past 13 years, NCI funding has firmly established the Partnership building on complementary institutional strengths, conducting molecular and population-based cancer research and training of junior faculty and students. This Comprehensive Partnership to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE) application builds upon the foundation already established through the previous U54 funding to meet the challenge of disparities in cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina and the US through cancer research, education and community outreach.

Our goals are to:

(1) Strengthen cancer research capacity at NCCU providing NCCU scientists mentorship and collaborative opportunities to compete for NCI grants;

(2) Enrich the capacity of NCCU and UNC Lineberger to further explore mechanisms underlying the disproportionate incidence of cancer mortality and morbidity between African Americans and Caucasian Americans, using both molecular and population-based approaches;

(3) Increase the number of NCCU scientists focused on cancer research as well as the education of minority undergraduate and graduate students in cancer research;

(4) Increase the faculty at the UNC Lineberger focused on minority disparities research; and

(5) Create long-term collaborations between basic, public health, and translational scientists from NCCU and UNC Lineberger.

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: Two full and one pilot projects in community intervention and population science, one full and one pilot project in basic/translational cancer research in diseases with a higher incidence in African Americans, and three cores: Outreach, Research Education, and Histopathology.

The partnership combines the expertise and resources of UNC Lineberger in population/public health sciences emphasizing disparities in North Carolina, genomics, cancer biology and cancer education, and NCCU’s demonstrated interest and faculty with minority health disparities research particularly in Durham NC, the state-funded NCCU units that allow faculty release from teaching and the emphasis on reaching minority populations and developing the careers of faculty and students. These complementary institutional strengths will assure that the Partnership builds the infrastructure necessary for a lasting collaborative research, effective community outreach and a substantial contribution to our understanding of minority disparities.

Co-Principal Investigators