On Nov. 27, President William D. Underwood announced that the Georgia Cancer Coalition has funded two Distinguished Cancer Scholars for the School of Medicine in Savannah. Distinguished scientists Dr. Shi-Wen Jiang and Dr. Edward Perkins will join the teaching and research faculty in Mercer’s doctor of medicine program early this winter, with joint research appointments in the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial University Medical Center.
Another newly appointed Scholar, Dr. Dominique Broccoli, who leads the Molecular Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial University Medical Center’s Anderson Cancer Institute, also has a Mercer University appointment in the Division of Basic Medical Science and the Department of Medicine and Surgery.
“These outstanding scholars will not only provide leading-edge cancer research to benefit the citizens of Georgia, but will also equip our medical students with this knowledge so they can better serve patients in their practices in the future,” said Underwood. “Mercer is committed to providing the highest quality medical education possible, and having researchers of this caliber in the classroom assures our students will be well equipped for their life-saving profession.”
The Georgia Cancer Coalition is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to reducing the number of cancer-related deaths in the state. The first of its kind in the nation, the Coalition unites government agencies, academic institutions, civic groups, corporations and health care organizations in a concerted effort to advance scientific research and discovery into the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer in Georgia.
The Coalition’s Distinguished Cancer Clinicians and Scientists program assists Georgia’s research universities, medical schools and nursing programs in recruiting leading cancer clinicians and scientists who are engaged in the most promising areas of cancer research. The Coalition provides funding ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 per year for five years to institutions with Distinguished Scholars with the funds designated to be used to advance the scholars’ research. Mercer will receive a total of $500,000 for Dr. Jiang and $250,000 for Dr. Perkins, with the University agreeing to a dollar-for-dollar match.
“The decision by the Georgia Cancer Coalition to fund these Mercer faculty will serve as a springboard for us to continue to hire the very best faculty to the Savannah campus who can further the university’s research agenda in the biosciences,” said D. Scott Davis, Ph.D., senior vice provost for Research and dean of Graduate Studies at Mercer. “Drs. Jiang, Perkins and Broccoli bring expertise that meshes well with collaborations that are currently being explored with the Anderson Cancer Institute. As we continue to hire faculty in Savannah with highly innovative and relevant research agendas, the Mercer University-Memorial University Medical Center partnership will soon be regarded as one of the premier cancer research initiatives in the Southeast.”
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