Brooklyn College Opens Cancer Center Dedicated to Fighting Health Disparities

Brooklyn College has announced the launch of a new cancer center dedicated to combatting health disparities: Brooklyn College Cancer Center–Community Outreach, Research, and Education (BCCC-CURE).

“No one should have to look outside of Brooklyn for these resources, particularly people in underserved communities. By combining the expertise that already exists at Brooklyn College in cancer research with the leading healthcare facilities in New York, BCCC-CURE will connect these anchor institutions and build relationships to make Brooklyn a leader in cancer research and care,” said Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson, via a press release.

The BCCC-CURE has a mission to treat underserved Brooklyn residents, and will focus on three main areas: research, education, and community service.

The Center’s 25 faculty members are focused on cancer and cancer-related research in one of three main areas: cancer biology and biochemistry, underlying disease mechanisms, and drug development and delivery systems.

“In the Chemistry Department we are developing potential drugs for different types of cancer or delivery systems for FDA-approved drugs,” said Maria Contel, PhD, Director of the Center and research area leader and professor of chemistry. She added, “We also plan on supporting researchers in other diseases. Many are connected, there are a lot of comorbidities. Recently the outcomes for cancer patients with COVID-19 have been terrible because they had to delay care.”

“There is nothing like this in Brooklyn,” Jason Lewis, PhD, Emily Tow Jackson Chair in Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a member of the BCCC-CURE advisory board. “The wealth of research, knowledge and experience, along with the capacity for community outreach and educational opportunities, will allow BCCC-CURE to address health disparities in the fight against cancer. I am excited to be a part of it and help move the effort forward.”