Press Releases

Faculty Member Selected for Innovative Cancer Initiative

December 3, 2018

Allison Burton-Chase, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at ACPHS, has been chosen as one of five cancer researchers from across the country to serve as a member of the recently launched HEROIC Mosaic Research Community

The focus of this collaborative initiative is to improve the treatment and care of individuals with Lynch syndrome, an inherited cancer condition that affects more than one million Americans, 95% of whom are unaware they have it.

While there are thousands of online communities dedicated to various disease states, most of these are limited to patient-to-patient interaction. What sets the Mosaic Research Community apart from others is that, in addition to patients, researchers and community members also play active roles. Taking it a step further, Mosaic will facilitate an online crowdsourcing approach to research, helping ensure future research projects address the issues of most importance to Lynch patients.

AliveAndKickn, a Lynch syndrome patient advocacy organization, describes the five person Mosaic research team as a “stellar line up of internationally recognized Lynch syndrome researchers.” Dr. Burton-Chase brings to the team an expertise in the behavioral aspects of cancer prevention and survivorship in families with hereditary cancer syndromes. The other four researchers are from the Dana-Farber Cancer Center (Boston, MA); MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX); Ohio State James Comprehensive Cancer Center (Columbus, OH); and Tulane Medical Center (New Orleans, LA).

“The Mosaic Research Community is a place where patients can ask questions directly of experts in the field and have discussions about priorities for research,” said Dr. Burton-Chase. “Now when there are calls for research proposals related to this population, the patients, clinicians, and researchers will be able to more easily work together and submit grants as a collective. In addition to helping us target those areas in greatest need of more research, we believe grant proposals generated through this Community will be well received by funding organizations because patients will be involved from the very beginning, rather than in the later stages of the process.”

The Mosaic project was chosen among many to be part of the Biden Cancer Initiative’s Commitment to progress and was featured at the Biden Cancer Summit in September 2018. Vice President Joe Biden said at the time, “We are at an inflection point in the understanding and treatment of cancer and are starting to break down barriers and change the culture in ways that are needed to deliver what patients deserve – a cancer research and care system that puts saving lives above all else. The commitments we have received, including The HEROIC Mosaic Research Community, bring us closer to developing the right systems, the right culture to get us there.”

About Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Founded in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) is a private, independent institution with a long tradition of academic and research excellence. The College’s mission is to educate the next generation of leaders to improve the health of our society. In separate reports by The Wall Street Journal and the Brookings Institution, ACPHS was named the #1 value-added college in the country. The College has campuses in Albany, NY, and Colchester, VT.