Laboratory Facility Dedicated at U54 Partner Institution in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In 2001, MD Anderson began a partnership with the University of Puerto Rico System through a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Through the NIH U54 Comprehensive Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnership Grant, the two institutions are working together to train more scientists and oncologists, increase funding for research and better understand health disparities among populations.

Given the success of this collaboration to date, the two institutions have looked for additional opportunities to work together. One such initiative was the construction of a lab facility at the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was dedicated in a ceremony on June 20, 2009.

“MD Anderson is proud to have played a part in planning and designing the laboratory facility in Puerto Rico,” says Provost and Executive Vice President Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., who is one of the principal investigators on the U54 grant and was among the dignitaries at the dedication. “We believe that this facility provides greater hope for cancer patients by promoting research-driven care and offers increased economic opportunities for Puerto Rico because of the scientists that will work there and the funding their research will garner.”

The cancer center is located in the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in Río Piedras. The new 60,000-square-foot research facility houses 10 laboratories. The center’s expansion will continue in 2011 with the planned construction of a 75-bed hospital to treat cancer patients and conduct clinical trials.

photo: Participating in the June 20 ribbon cutting ceremony for the new laboratory facility for the Comprehensive Cancer Center in Puerto Rico are (from left to right): Antonio Garcia-Padilla, president, University of Puerto Rico System; Jorge Sanchez, M.D., acting executive director, UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center; Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., MD Anderson provost and executive vice president; Luis Fortuno, governor of Puerto Rico; and Jose Carlo-Izquierdo, M.D., chancellor, UPR Medical Sciences Campus.