Stony Brook Cancer Center (SBCC) was awarded a $1 million state-funded grant by the New York State Legislature in the FY23 State Budget. This marks the fifth year in a row that the Legislature, led by the advocacy and support of Assemblyman Steven Englebright, was able to secure funding to support the Cancer Center’s application process for National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center status. To date, Assemblyman Englebright has secured nearly $3.7 million in state grants to support this effort.
“We’re grateful for Assemblyman Englebright’s diligent advocacy on procuring funds on behalf of Stony Brook Cancer Center,” said Hal Paz, MD, executive vice president of health sciences at Stony Brook University and chief executive officer, Stony Brook University Medicine. “As part of Suffolk County’s only academic health center, Stony Brook Cancer Center will use this to further enhance the rigorous preparations already underway regarding research initiatives and program development that are required for obtaining NCI designation.”
There are currently 71 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers across the country, with the closest clinical NCI facility to Long Island residents based in New York City. NCI designation would enable Stony Brook Medicine to hire additional researchers and clinical investigators to work in its research laboratories, spurring even more federal funding for breakthrough discoveries.
“The state support to the Cancer Center provided through the tireless activities of Assemblyman Englebright represents a much-needed shot in the arm for enabling us to develop a highly integrated and advanced cancer center for our Long Island population,” said Yusuf A. Hannun, MD, director of Stony Brook Cancer Center. “We continue to be very grateful to him because this will help propel us toward achieving NCI designation, a strong indication and clear testament that the Cancer Center functions at the highest level.”
In addition to its strength in research, the Cancer Center provides expert clinical care through 12 multidisciplinary teams, each focused on a group of related cancers. These specialists — including surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists — collaborate on every patient’s case. Additionally, there are more than 100 cancer clinical trials available, some of which are created at Stony Brook. Outstanding cancer diagnostics and treatment services are provided to fulfill the Cancer Center’s mission of offering optimal patient cancer care to Long Island residents.
Stony Brook Cancer Center has assembled an external advisory board (EAB) of clinical and research cancer experts, including the directors of four other NCI-designated cancer centers. An EAB review of Stony Brook’s readiness for designation notes that Stony Brook, out of the other institutions seeking such designation, “has one of the strongest research bases and can demonstrably illustrate that it is making enormous contributions to the oncology field.”
“I feel strongly that Stony Brook Cancer Center has all of the characteristics of a national leader in cancer research and care and has a solid foundation to obtain NCI-designation,” said Assemblyman Englebright. “For this reason, I am delighted to continue my support of the Cancer Center’s efforts to bring this level of care to Long Island residents.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), of which the National Cancer Institute is a part of, will take great interest in the critical facilities Stony Brook University has dedicated to cancer-focused research including:
- The Medical and Research Translation (MART) building: A 240,000-square-foot facility devoted to both basic and translational cancer research, biomedical informatics and the highest quality clinical care.
- Institute for Discovery and Innovation in Medicine and Engineering (I-DIME): The $75 million, 70,000 square-foot facility will be a center where cutting-edge academic research and data analytic support come together with private sector ingenuity to solve some of the most challenging problems of today and tomorrow. The Schools of Medicine and Engineering will staff the I-DIME building, based on the concept of engineer-driven medicine, which at Stony Brook will focus heavily on cancer medicine.
- Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL): Stony Brook University is the co-manager of BNL, with 122 joint appointments allowing researchers and others to access the most advanced scientific and imaging technologies. This includes the National Synchrotron Light Source II — a $960 million X-ray facility — with the nanoscale resolution needed to foster new discoveries and breakthroughs in critical areas including cancer research.
- New faculty members hired at Stony Brook Cancer Center: Over the past six years, Stony Brook Cancer Center has recruited top talent, which has yielded a large number of new faculty members devoted to basic and clinical cancer research, bioinformatics, population sciences, community outreach and engagement and clinical care, which has helped improve the efforts of many existing departments.
- Over $18M in annual external funding for cancer research: These funds are obtained from the NCI, other NIH institutes, Department of Defense and other extramural agencies funding cancer research. These grants support cutting-edge research designed to find a cure for various cancers that affect Long Islanders, New Yorkers and the global population.