by Jade Boyd
Special to Rice News
A Rice University-led collaboration of engineers, oncologists and international global health partners from three continents has won up to a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a premier research center in the Texas Medical Center to develop affordable, effective point-of-care (POC) technologies that improve early cancer detection in low-resource settings in the United States and other countries.
The Center for Innovation and Translation of POC Technologies for Equitable Cancer Care (CITEC) will be managed out of the Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies and is an international collaboration between Rice, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Sao Paulo, Barretos Cancer Hospital in Brazil, the Mozambique Ministry of Health and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. Baylor College of Medicine will serve as the clinical core for CITEC, leveraging nearly two decades of successful global collaboration between the principal investigators.
POC technologies deliver health care closer to patients, making care more timely and convenient, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients.
“While early detection and treatment of cancer can improve survival, available tests for early cancer detection are too complex or too expensive for hospitals and clinics in medically underserved areas,” said CITEC co-principal investigator Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a Rice bioengineering professor and director of Rice360.
With a first-year grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of $1.3 million—up to $6.5 million over five years—CITEC will prioritize development of POC tests for oral, cervical and gastrointestinal cancers. NIBIB announced last month that CITEC is one of six research centers that it will support, along with a coordinating center, through its Point of Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN).
Other CITEC co-principal investigators include Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, vice president of global health at Baylor College of Medicine, and Tomasz Tkaczyk, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.
“CITEC will identify needed technologies, accelerate their development, evaluate their performance and impact in diverse settings and train local users and technology developers to create and disseminate more equitable POC technologies,” Anandasabapathy said.
CITEC is funded by NIBIB grant #U54EB034652.
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CAPTION: Rebecca Richards-Kortum is Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor, a professor of bioengineering and of electrical and computer engineering and director of Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies. (Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University)
CAPTION: Sharmila Anandasabapathy is vice president of global health at Baylor College of Medicine. (Credit: Baylor College of Medicine)
CAPTION: Tomasz Tkaczyk is a professor of bioengineering at Rice.
(Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
CAPTION: CITEC logo
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