Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, president of The University of Texas-Pan American, has been appointed as one of 15 members of the Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas' (CPRIT) Future Directions workgroup. The group will help spearhead four regional stakeholder meetings as part of CPRIT's Future Directions initiative, which will help the institute gather information for its strategic priorities over the next several years.
The volunteer members also will provide information and insight during the CPRIT's 2012 annual conference to be held Oct. 24-26 in Austin.
Nelsen said he is honored to have been appointed to the group and his appointment shows that others have taken notice of what The University of Texas-Pan American is doing to combat cancer.
"We have excellent faculty doing important work on cancer at the University," Nelsen said. "We also have a serious problem with obesity, diabetes, and cancer in the Rio Grande Valley. Together with other partners in the State, we can make a difference here in the Valley."
Nelsen added that research, particularly cancer research, is important to the future of the University and UT Pan American plans to invest in biomedical programs and faculty who conduct biomedical research.
He also said the University wants to collaborate with the medical universities in The University of Texas System, especially the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which has its regional academic health center on UTPA's campus.
"Together, we need to improve the health in the Valley. Being involved in CPRIT funded projects will allow us to do so," Nelsen said.
In 2007, Texas voters approved the CPRIT's creation and authorized the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. The CPRIT's goal is to expedite innovation and commercialization in cancer research and enhance prevention programs and services throughout the state, according to its website.