The School of Biological Sciences is proud to congratulate Dr. Charles Wood on receiving his second year of funding from the National Cancer institute for one of the projects UNL has in partnership with the University of Zambia. This project is one of UNL’s five funded projects in Africa, with the funding coming to a total of roughly 3 million dollars per year.
Dr. Wood’s project is built on a long history of collaboration with the University of Zambia which started in 1997 and has continued over 20 years. Since its inception, these collaborations have all been supported by the National Cancer Institute.
The program that the project is funded through is designed with three major components in mind: research, building the relationship between UNL and the University of Zambia, and building research capacity in Zambia. Dr. Wood defines capacity as “providing personnel, building laboratories, and providing support and resources to train the next generation of researchers both in the US and Africa.” In addition to US researchers mentoring Zambian researchers, collaborators in Africa also include pathologists and oncologists. The plan is use this collaboration to bring in future grants, which is what they have done for the past twenty years.
The studies of this particular project surround two AIDS related cancers (Caposi’s sarcoma and an eye tumor called an Ocular squamous cell carcinoma) as well as cervical cancer in women. Dr. Wood hopes that they will have answers to the two prominent AIDS related cancers that they are currently studying, “This research is important for the country, and important in the field of HIV/AIDS.”
In parallel to this program there are other research projects which are supported by the NIH and bring in over half a million dollars per year per project.
Dr. Wood says that this is a well-recognized program and is on par with some of the east coast institutions such as Harvard, Hopkins, and Washington University on the West coast, “Hopefully this project has put UNL on the map. I think we accomplished that.”