Arnold school researcher honored by National Cancer Institute
University of South Carolina cancer researcher Dr. James Hebert has received a prestigious award from the National Cancer Institute that will enable him to train new researchers and expand his own research in cancer prevention.
Hebert, director of the S.C. Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Arnold School of Public Health, will receive more than $800,000 over five years for the award, named the Established Investigator Award in Cancer Prevention and Control.
One of only 22 in the United States, the award represents the university’s growing prominence in the field of cancer research, university President Harris Pastides said.
“This highly competitive award to one of our nation’s leading cancer researchers puts him in the company of those from Harvard University, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Washington and Boston University, all highly regarded for their cancer research programs,” Pastides said.
The award also recognizes the reputation of the university’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, located in the Discovery I building of Innovista.
“This is an outstanding example of the ability of our faculty to secure top grants – the faculty whose discoveries, in turn, will drive the future development of Innovista and create jobs,” Pastides said.
The CPCP is one of the most innovative statewide programs of its type in the United States, said Hebert, recognized internationally for his research on racial disparities in cancer rates and studies on the role of diet and physical activity in cancer.
“Our program’s focus is on addressing cancer disparities that are among the largest in the nation,” he said. “We have worked to develop a strong research infrastructure, linking to clinical and public-health practices throughout the state, and training a cadre of research scientists competent to address problems of cancer prevention and control at all levels.”
Hebert, who joined the Arnold School faculty in 1999 as a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, said the funding is important for developing the next generation of cancer researchers. The center already has seven junior faculty members whose scientific contributions are being recognized through peer-reviewed journal articles and new grants.
The award also is an important step in securing funding to support doctoral student stipends and develop a program for post-doctoral fellows in epidemiology, biostatistics and other disciplines at the Arnold School.
“The contributions of young researchers have a great impact on the university, our community and the state,” said Hebert, named the 2004 Eminent Scientist of the Year by the World Science Forum.
Hebert was named the university’s Health Sciences Distinguished Professor in 2006 and received the S.C. Cancer Alliance Research Award in 2007. He was a Senior Fulbright Fellow in India during the first half of 2009 and has been listed as one of the “Leading Scientists of the World” by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England, since 2005.