New precision medicine center gets NIH funding as One Degree campaign goes on

July 18, 2016

In Tennessee, news that a precision medicine center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will be launched with funds from the National Institute of Health (NIH) gave increased meaning to ACS CAN advocates who participated in the One Degree campaign to increase federal funding for cancer research.  This month, VUMC announced it will receive a $71.6 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded over five years, to establish and operate"øthe Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. This represents a landmark effort to collect data that will lead to discovering new ways to identify and treat cancer using genetic, personalized patient information.  ACS CAN Tennessee congratulates VUMC for this accomplishment and applauds their leadership in advancing the science of precision medicine.  

“It is extremely exciting to actively advocate for increased funding for federal research, and see some of that funding coming directly here to Tennessee,” said Lynn Williams, state director of government relations for American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Tennessee.  ACS CAN is the national advocacy partner of the American Cancer Society, and advocates for policies and laws that eliminate cancer and improve the lives of people with cancer.

Last year, ACS CAN created the One Degree project as a testament to the fact that we are all just One Degree from cancer and we're ready to end this disease. The campaign set a goal of increasing federal cancer research funding by $1 billion over a two-year period. 

“Last September, we met with our members of Congress and asked them to increase funding for cancer research at the NIH and NCI and they answered that call with a significant increase a few months later,” said Williams.  “It was exciting to see that happen last year, thanks in large part to our Tennessee advocates who sent social media messages and emails to demonstrate their cancer connection. 

“Seeing significant federal funding coming to VUMC for creation of a mammoth project that will save lives and discover cures gives real meaning to our advocacy work,” Williams continued.