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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2009


CONTACT:

Karen Mallet
215-514-9751
km463@georgetown.edu


American Legacy Foundation and Georgetown University Medical Center Create Research Collaboration

Schroeder/Lombardi Cancer Control Consortium to enhance tobacco-related research


Washington, D.C. – The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) and the Steven A. Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation announced today the establishment of the Schroeder/Lombardi Cancer Control Consortium. The consortium, formally agreed to yesterday on the Georgetown University campus, seeks to advance tobacco-related research, policy and education, utilizing the shared knowledge and expertise of these two leading research organizations.

“This partnership with Lombardi will dramatically elevate our ability to conduct first-class research on the most important elements of tobacco prevention and control,” says Cheryl G. Healton, Dr PH, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. “Our Foundation is now celebrating its tenth year, and I can’t think of a more exciting way to pave the way for progress in the decade to come than by teaming up with Georgetown and Lombardi,” she adds.

“By partnering with the American Legacy Foundation, we’re able to accelerate the translation of new findings discovered in a laboratory setting into clinical applications and cutting-edge tobacco cessation interventions,” explains Peter Shields, MD, deputy director of Lombardi and interim chair of the department of medicine at GUMC. Shields is an international leader in research on the negative health effects caused by tobacco use. “This relationship marries the outstanding strengths of two superb organizations to form a robust consortium with very specific goals for advancing the science of tobacco-related research.”

The American Legacy Foundation established the Schroeder Institute to provide a nexus for cutting-edge tobacco research to accelerate reduction in smoking prevalence. One of the most pressing challenges to the field of tobacco control is to understand how to move basic and clinical research out of the laboratory and into the real world more effectively and efficiently to inform a coherent, unified national cessation strategy. Led by David Abrams, MS, BSc, PhD, research scientists at the Schroeder Institute conduct trans-disciplinary research in tobacco control treatment and policy, with a focus on both the basic and applied science of dissemination.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to combine expertise in biomedical, behavioral, social and population sciences to make a difference in eliminating tobacco-use behavior — the single biggest preventable cause of premature death and disability in our nation,” Abrams said.

Lombardi is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer. Research scientists within Lombardi’s Division of Population Sciences conduct cutting-edge research in both basic and applied tobacco research, with specific expertise on the interaction between genes and the environment which increase cancer risk.

The establishment of the Consortium will facilitate collaborations between researchers from Schroeder and Lombardi and will leverage the unique strengths, expertise, and resources from each organization. Members of the Consortium will pursue research funding opportunities to improve scientific understanding of the mechanisms of tobacco addiction and to develop and disseminate effective and cost efficient treatment and policy approaches. The ultimate goal of the Consortium is to make a dramatic and timely impact in reducing the population prevalence of smoking.

“Tobacco-use behavior accounts for more than one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of preventable death,” says Healton. “This exciting partnership creates extraordinary opportunities for science, practice and policy. The ultimate beneficiary of this partnership is the community we all serve in the greater DC area through the trans-disciplinary and translational collaborations among Schroeder and Lombardi investigators.”

The American Legacy Foundation® is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truth®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use; and a nationally-renowned program of outreach to priority populations. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit www.americanlegacy.org.

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through Georgetown’s affiliation with MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.

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