During a news conference in November, the Stephenson Cancer center announced that they are poised to apply for National Cancer Institute-designation in September 2017. NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science.
Furthermore, in February, the TSET Board of Directors approved a five-year, $20 million grant to support the expansion of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, a program of the Stephenson Cancer Center. Having went into effect on July 1 of this year, the grant replaced the previous TSET grant of $7.5 million over five years to the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center.
Tobacco use in Oklahoma continues to be our greatest preventable cause of premature death and disability, and the economic cost to our state exceeds $2 billion.
“This expansion continues to bring high quality research and cutting edge treatment to Oklahoma,” said Tracey Strader, TSET Executive Director. “The TSET Board of Directors continues to keep the promise to voters who created the endowment to improve the health of Oklahomans.”
TSET’s support has allowed the Stephenson Cancer Center to bring much-needed cancer-fighting resources to the state of Oklahoma including the state’s only phase I clinical trials program.
TSET grant support has allowed for two new OTRC recruits, Jenny Vidrine, PhD and Damon Vidrine, DrPh, both specializing in developing and evaluating novel, evidence-based tobacco cessation strategies, especially among underserved populations.
Both Jennifer Vidrine and Damon Vidrine are Oklahoma TSET Research Scholars in recognition of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust’s ongoing support for research to reduce the burden of cancer and tobacco in the state.
Jennifer Vidrine serves as the Deputy Director for Tobacco Research and is also the Director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, overseeing the center’s tobacco research activities. Damon Vidrine serves as co-leader for the Cancer Health Disparities Program.