Nursing school launches new center focused on cancer control research

By Jill Jansen

To expand and strengthen its research and research training program in cancer prevention and control, the IU School of Nursing launched a new center, the Indiana University School of Nursing Champion Center for Cancer Control Research. With 13 faculty members pursuing groundbreaking research in oncology, the School of Nursing has the largest number of oncology research-intensive faculty in the country, making the creation of this new center a strategic component for building the school's research portfolio well into the 21st century. 

“This center provides a focal point for a research area in which IU and the School of Nursing have been internationally recognized,” said Fred H. Cate, vice president for research at IU, distinguished professor, and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law. “Bringing together all the work around cancer research in the management of symptoms and in the encouragement of behaviors that prevent cancer, will make it easier to generate support and fund research and creates a place where people who want to make a difference in this field can come for excellent training.”

Named after Victoria Champion, Ph.D., R.N., distinguished professor, and an international leader in oncology research, the center will celebrate and build upon the highly regarded research collaborative, the Behavioral Cooperative Oncology Group (BCOG), which was founded by Champion in 1996.   

Originally funded by the Walther Cancer Foundation, BCOG became a nationally respected training center for pre- and post-doc fellows and junior faculty and built cancer control science that transformed the standards of practice for patient and health care delivery. With strong interdisciplinary partnerships from the IU Simon Cancer Center and Midwestern universities, BCOG faculty scientists generated more than $71 million in external funds that supported research – the impact of which is now used to improve patient care and inform care delivery.

BCOG’s success and the School of Nursing’s well-established infrastructure in oncology research paved the way for development of a stand-alone oncology research center at the nursing school – one designed to support both seasoned researchers and those just beginning.

“A center creates a common point to coalesce and provide support,” Dr. Champion said. “Whether you’re a new researcher who needs help with submitting grants, designing studies, and gathering pilot data or a senior researcher who benefits from collaboration with fellow experts, it’s essential to have a village, and that’s what a center like this offers.”

The Indiana University School of Nursing Champion Center for Oncology Research will support cancer research that decreases the burden of cancer with a vision for IU School of Nursing to become the national preeminent center for cancer control research. The center will build on the foundation of current peer-reviewed funding, publish findings in peer-reviewed journals, transform practice, and train the next generation of oncology research scholars. Funding sources for the center will include individual and corporate donors and federal funding to support pre- and post-doctoral training.

What is cancer control?

Cancer control science is the conduct of basic and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches, reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity and mortality, and improve quality of life, according to the National Cancer  Institute.

Learn more about the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the IU Simon Cancer Center.