Nov. 18 Meeting Highlights Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Initiatives
Researchers and clinicians from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will meet on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004, to discuss important research initiatives funded by the Maryland Cigarette Restitution (CRF) Program. The fourth annual “Research Matters” conference, hosted this year by the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Health Sciences Facility II building at 700 W. Lombard St. in Baltimore.
The keynote speaker will be Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean and professor of public health practice in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Koh, who served as Massachusetts’ health commissioner from 1997 to 2003, will discuss his state’s efforts to curb tobacco use over the past decade.
Also speaking will be Van T. Mitchell, principal deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Del. Talmadge Branch, (D., 45th, Baltimore), vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee of the Maryland General Assembly.
Panel discussions will focus on research relating to the Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, DNA methylation, and research opportunities for cancer prevention and screening in Baltimore City.
The conference is held each year to highlight cancer research underway at Maryland’s two academic medical centers funded by the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Program, which distributes millions of dollars from a legal settlement with cigarette manufacturers for cancer research, treatment, prevention and education throughout Maryland.
“Maryland serves as a national model for using cigarette restitution funds to fight cancer,” says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The funds have already had a major impact, helping us to expand and accelerate our research and improve our treatment programs for the benefit of all Maryland residents. Continued CRF support will help people facing cancer now and in the future.”
Martin D. Abeloff, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, says, “We have used the CRF funds well, and we are making real, measurable advances in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer, a disease that takes a very high human and financial toll on Maryland citizens. We are beginning to see a great return on the CRF investment. As long as we stay the course, we will realize the full promise of the CRF in making progress against cancer in Maryland and throughout the nation.”
Researchers at the two cancer centers have been collaborating on a variety of research projects, including studies of lung as well as head and neck cancers, and will soon be working together on a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study ways to halt the spread of breast cancer. This year, the cancer centers have also started a collaborative grant program using CRF monies, with each center contributing up to $40,000 a year to fund joint research projects.
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