Indiana State University officials hope new center expands cancer research efforts


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Indiana State University will soon create a new cancer research center.

University leaders say it will provide a transformational boost to the university’s current efforts involving the disease.

On the campus of Indiana State University, officials say both faculty and students are contributing to cancer research.

“There’s lots of ways to connect to cancer research. We have the center for genomic advocacy which does a lot of genetic research, we have a graduate program in genetic counseling,” said Christopher Olsen, Dean of ISU College of Arts and Sciences.

ISU will soon add on to their ongoing work.

Following a $250,000 gift, Indiana State will create the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center.

“We have a very active cancer research center at the moment in a lab with Dr. Catherine Steding and she works on a variety of work related to cancer, breast cancer and others. This is going to allow us expand that significantly,” Olsen said.

Olsen says plans are to bring in five internationally competitive grad students to become Porter Research Fellows.

“They will be working in cancer research in one form or another, they’ll probably be working with a variety of faculty members,” Olsen said.

The center is named after Rich and Robin Porter. Rich is a 1977 graduate of ISU who started become involved with cancer research at Ohio State University around 10 years ago.

“The reason I got involved in cancer research is it touches everyone. You just can’t find a person in life that hasn’t had cancer effect them in some shape, form, or fashion,” Porter said.

Porter says he hopes the new center can raise ISU’s profile in cancer research and help the university attract more students, but that’s not his main goal.

“The ultimate hope is that one of these students will discover or be part of a discovery to help cure some form of cancer, and that discovery will take place on the campus of Indiana State University,” Porter said.

School officials say preparation for the program will begin this academic year.

They also say a long-term goal is to compete for national and international grants to possibly grow the center.

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