Funding still steady for Huntsman Cancer Institute

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Editor:
After reading the articles featured in your Nov. 3 issue that focused on the problem and hope of cancer research, we want to commend you for examining some of the issues surrounding this devastating disease. Despite advances in research and treatment, 1 in every 3 Americans faces a cancer diagnosis at some time in their lives.

However, one of the articles presented, (“Research raises money despite drop in funding,” Nov. 3) painted an incomplete portrait of the level of research funding at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Because of differences in reporting procedures, the Department Award Activity by College report that is referenced in the article provides only one snapshot of university funding8212;it does not provide the whole picture. One example worth noting is a Department of Defense grant awarded to a Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher in 2008 for $3.7 million8212;to be awarded over five years. Thus, when in 2009 the yearly allotment is received and recorded by the Office of Sponsored Projects, the funding for that lab could at first glance look to be reduced, when in fact it is merely reflecting the first deposit of the grant.

Indeed, rather than the reduction in grant funding suggested by the report in The Daily Utah Chronicle, cancer research funding at the U has remained steady even in these very challenging economic times. For example, in just the last few months, HCI researchers received more than $2.2 million in economic stimulus grants from the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, evidence of the high regard for the promise of cancer research at HCI and the national commitment to eradicating this disease through investment in research.

Mary Beckerle, Ph.D.,
Executive Director,
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Associate Vice President for Cancer Affairs, University of Utah
Thomas Parks, Ph.D.,
Vice President for Research,
University of Utah