Cancer center successfully renews NCI designation

by Chris Whitted, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center | October 04, 2021

Image with caption: Kenneth Cowan, MD, PhD

Kenneth Cowan, MD, PhD

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center has successfully renewed its National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG).

This grant bestows National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation on the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and marks continuous NCI funding for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center since 1984. Renewal of the CCSG, amounting to approximately $12 million over the next five years, helps cover the costs of administering the cancer center’s research programs and operating its core facilities, which provide sophisticated technical services to researchers throughout the cancer center.

"We were informed by our program officer at the NCI that our score increased significantly from our previous submission five years ago," said Kenneth Cowan, MD, PhD, director of the cancer center. "We actually received the best review and overall score that we’ve ever gotten from the NCI. They were very impressed with the center’s growth in high-impact clinical translational research, as well as our extensive training and education programs. They were pleased with the initiatives already put in place by the newly-formed Office of Community Outreach and Engagement that address health disparities in Nebraska’s minority populations."

Renewing the Cancer Center Support grant involved submitting a 1,300-page grant application to the NCI in September 2020. This was followed by a virtual site visit by 16 external site visitors in late January, during which the cancer center’s senior leadership team presented information on its basic and clinical research programs. The site visitors were senior leaders at other NCI-designated cancer centers.

"The Cancer Center Support Grant is one of the most the critical UNMC funding programs," said Jennifer Larsen, MD, UNMC vice chancellor for research. "Over its funding history, it has led the development of many research resources, developed many new investigators and teams, supports lots of people and programs, and most importantly, is focused on fundamentally changing how we understand and treat cancer. Congratulations to Dr. Cowan and the large team required to both write it and participate in the virtual site review for the first time."

The Buffett Cancer Center received a 12% increase in funding. Over 100 Cancer Center members and staff contributed to the successful grant renewal, Dr. Cowan said. The NCI renewal re-confirms the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center’s status as an elite cancer center program, one of just 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country.

Carmen Sirizzotti
October 05, 2021 at 12:00 AM

Dr. Cowan: Congratulations for the successful renew of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG). Awesome achievement.... wow... a 1,300-page grant application to the NCI...

Tom O’Connor
October 04, 2021 at 9:25 AM

Wow. Wow. Wow - 1,300 pages! Mega kudos to Dr. Cowan and all involved in this monumental accomplishment. You make us proud!

Bill O'Neill
October 04, 2021 at 8:26 AM

Congratulations to Dr. Cowan and the entire team at the cancer center!

Babu Guda
October 04, 2021 at 7:47 AM

Once again, congratulations on the successful renewal.

Lisa Runco
October 04, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Congratulations Dr. Cowan and team! This is a huge accomplishment.