NCI Director Meets with Markey Researchers, Faculty during Special Visit

Dr. Doug Lowy, interim director of the National Cancer Institute, recently visited the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, continuing a dialogue on Kentucky cancer disparities following Lowy's visit to Hazard, Ky. last fall.

Much of Lowy's visit focused on research. During the morning session, nine UK faculty members gave presentations on major research initiatives and programs at Markey, ranging from efforts in cancer prevention and control to drug development and discovery. Major topics of discussion centered around the cancer types which affect Kentuckians the most: lung cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer/HPV and the hepatitis C virus, which is linked to liver cancer.

After meeting with a group of UK Markey Cancer Center junior faculty members, Lowy learned more about the UK HealthCare enterprise and its support of Markey from Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs. Lowy finished the day with a tour of clinical space in UK Chandler Hospital's Pavilion A – future home to Markey's Hematology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation inpatient floor – and a dedicated cancer research lab in the UK College of Pharmacy.

"We were honored to have Dr. Doug Lowy visit us today at the UK Markey Cancer Center to learn more about our patients and the research we do here," said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. "It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with the NCI, and with Dr. Lowy, so that they better understand some of the difficulties we have in delivering care to our patient population."

Kentucky is home to the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the country, a major health problem that Markey is dedicated to change. In July 2013, Markey received a prestigious NCI designation, which allows the center access to more research funding, trials, and treatments.