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Health Science Center brings nutrition research/cancer studies to South Texas

August 2003

Underserved minorities in Harlingen and Laredo will benefit from two new Health Science Center initiatives. The first is a U.S. Hispanic Nutrition and Research Education Center, which will be located in the Regional Academic Health Center facility in Harlingen.

The center will focus on understanding how diet and nutrition, combined with genetic, social, psychological, socioeconomic, cultural and environmental factors, affect the health of the U.S. Hispanic population. The center is the first of its kind in the United States and is funded by a $100,000 federal appropriation from the 107th U.S. Congress. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was instrumental in securing the funds.

"We are most fortunate and appreciative that Sen. Cornyn was successful in leading the move to secure $100,000 for us to jump-start this new center at the RAHC Medical Education Division," said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president. "Sen. Cornynís legislative success on behalf of the Health Science Center will help our faculty conduct the necessary research to develop the nutrition education programs that will improve the nutrition and dietary needs of our Hispanic population in South Texas and across this nation."

In a separate venture, the Health Science Center will develop a cancer research infrastructure in Laredo. The initiative is part of a multimillion-dollar radiation oncology project at Laredoís Mercy Health Center. The goal of the project is to educate underserved minorities regarding preventive, screening and diagnostic procedures for cancer. The project will serve to increase Hispanic patient participation in clinical trials.


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Updated 12/11/14