Cold Spring, SUNY Old Westbury land prostate cancer funding

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is in line for $300,000 in state funding to find ways to cure prostate cancer.

Two awards for Long Island-based research organizations are part of a new prostate cancer research funding initiative announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

All told, 20 research institutions will share a total of $3 million in funding to explore innovative concepts in prostate cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. Among them are Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which is slated to receive $300,000 over the next two years, and the Research Foundation for SUNY Old Westbury, set to receive $75,000 over a 15-month period.

Leading last week’s announcement were two-year, $450,000 awards for Health Research Inc., part of the Buffalo-based Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Columbia University, both in New York City.

Two other NYC institutions – Yeshiva University and the New York University School of Medicine – also received $300,000 awards.

Cuomo said the idea behind the funding is to “ultimately eradicate” the second-most common cancer among New York State men, a disease that strikes one in six men nationwide, largely those 65 and older.

“This form of cancer affects thousands of New Yorkers each year and ongoing research remains our best avenue to fight it,” the governor said in a statement.

State officials also hope the awards will help the winning institutions establish a “foundation of research” that will attract future funding from the National Institutes of Health and other federal sources, according to the governor’s office.

During the application process, institutions were required to demonstrate their commitment to prostate cancer research, their ability to implement research and a description of their process for selecting which research projects would be funded, if the institution was chosen to receive state funds. The awardees will actually determine which individual research projects will be funded by the state stipends.

“Empowering New York’s premier research facilities to select their own innovative avenues for research has great potential,” Cuomo noted.

While not every applicant received a state award, the number of applications and the quality of their research efforts were very encouraging, according to State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.

“We are pleased to see so many institutions in New York are committed to research into prostate cancer, which continues to be a leading killer of men,” Zucker said. “Anything we can do to advance our understanding of this complex disease will help ease that burden.”