Faculty receives $426,025 grant for prostate cancer research

Faculty receives $426,025 grant for prostate cancer research

Dr. Ernie Kaninjing, assistant professor of public health, has received a $426,025 grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to research prostate cancer in African men.

The NIH is the nation's medical research agency. And the gold standard of grant agencies for public health professionals, according to Sheri Noviello, dean of College of Health Sciences (COHS).

“There are three known risk factors for prostate cancer: aging, prior family or hereditary factors and African ancestry,” Kaninjing said. “My main motivation, at the minimum, is to reduce the disparities—the differences—if not end them, for this population.”

“I’m working with populations that are underserved,” he said,” because that’s where I believe we can make the greatest impact—and ultimately improve the health of the overall U.S. population.”

His research will be completed in three phases: interviews to understand African immigrant acculturation, or assimilation, designing a survey to determine level of acculturation, and then deploying that survey to collect and analyze real data.

“By the end we want to have a good sense of the factors that are driving these differences in health outcomes,” Kaninjing said. “So, in subsequent research, we can then tailor interventions that are more likely to succeed in addressing these disparities.”

Eventually, the researchers will include about 12 undergraduate students, two graduate assistants and a collaboration between the School of Health and Human Performance, Department of Mathematics and Department of Psychology.

The grant money will be used to fund travel for conducting interviews across Georgia, in Florida and Minnesota. It will also cover transcription and analysis, survey deployment to at least 100 people and dissemination of findings to other researchers.

“This research is not for the sake of research, we have to spread the word to other researchers and help drive the field forward,” Kaninjing said. “We’re really excited to lay this foundation and show that Georgia College is a place where research is being done.”

Updated: 2022-09-26
Ernie Kaninjing