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April 19, 2007


LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA ~ Lincoln University President Ivory V. Nelson has announced that the university, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State College of Medicine, has been awarded a $4.2 million grant to study gene-environment interactions that increase the risk of lung cancer in African-American and Caucasian smokers and non-smokers.

The study will be conducted under the Gene-Environmental Initiative of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET).

Although previous studies have shown that chemicals in tobacco smoke cause lung cancer, more than a tenth of lung cancer cases occurs in non-smokers.  Studies have revealed that industrialized urban areas have higher lung cancer rates than areas with good air quality, indicating that the environmental pollution may also be a factor. 

Lincoln University’s role in the study is to design the research instrument and collect data in the African-American community. Dr. Judith Thomas, dean for the School of Social Sciences and Behavioral Studies, and Dr. Robert Millette, professor of sociology and anthropology, will collaborate with the University of Pennsylvania in collecting and analyzing the data.

Findings of the study will be disseminated to legislators, community leaders, community organizations, and other stakeholders.  The identification of genetic factors that increase risk of lung cancer would enhance the quality of the public health information that is disseminated to the general population during cancer awareness and smoking cessation programs.

Founded in 1854, Lincoln University is a premier, historically Black University that combines the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly technological and global society.  The University is nationally recognized as a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry and physics); computer and informational sciences; biological and life sciences.  Lincoln has an enrollment of 2,423 undergraduate and graduate students.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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