March 24, 2008
The cancer research panel

Missed this over the weekend: The passage of Prop 15 last year meant the creation of an advisory board to determine how $3 billion in funds for cancer research will be spent. That board is being put together now and will start the real work soon.

Six members were named this week to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute Oversight Committee, which will establish the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute and monitor the $300 million in tax dollars the institute will handle for 10 years straight. The last three committee members are expected to be named any day.

Rice University professor Malcolm Gillis, one of the appointees, envisions Texas becoming an international leader in rolling back a disease that this year will kill an estimated 566,000 Americans, including 38,000 Texans.

"Nobody has done what Texas is doing in cancer research," Gillis said. "Nothing could be more forward looking than good research. ... We need to identify the people who are doing really good research and try to fund it."

Gillis said the oversight committee's first meeting is still weeks away. He predicts the first order of business will be choosing a location and a director for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute.

The institute would be in charge of divvying up the grants, which would be distributed beginning in 2009.

I'd guess the location will be here in Houston, though Dallas and San Antonio will probably make a pitch for it as well. After that, who knows? It'll be interesting to watch how this operates.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 24, 2008 to Technology, science, and math