Louisiana Cancer Research center expanding its research opportunities

Experienced researchers from ULM, and la tech welcomed as new members of LCRC research team
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - On Monday, May 1, students, staff, and community members attended a research presentation at Louisiana Tech University.

The CEO and Director of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, Dr. Joe Ramos, says the presentation, along with welcoming new members of the LCRC research team, is a part of his mission to reach northern parishes in Louisiana.

“Louisiana is almost always the hardest hit states, one of the top five hardest hit states in the country for both incidents of cancer and mortality from and we’ve got to turn that around,” Ramos says.

Ramos has been in his role for just nine months. His goal is to reduce the burden of cancer in Louisiana by expanding connections and collaborating with researchers and communities across the state.

“We’re trying to ensure that we’re working with our communities to do the work informed by those communities, what’s necessary? What are the issues, people with cancer, or people who are wanting to prevent getting cancer? What are they facing in these different regions? Which can each be quite different,” Ramos says.

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate studies for the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, and associate professor for the School of Biological Sciences at Louisiana Tech University. She says cancer is too big for just one person to tackle.

“Cancer is such a complex problem, right? People often say it’s not one disease, it’s many diseases and how we approach cancer has to be a multi-pronged approach, right? It’s not just one type of research, it’s not just one treatment. And it’s not just one form of communication or one type of education,” Newman says.

Dr. Newman says forming research connections across Louisiana allows them to utilize one another’s research and build off of each other’s work in order to have a meaningful impact on cancer rates in the state.

“By bringing people together from across the state who have different areas of expertise in research, and have different areas of expertise, and clinical care, and education and community outreach and communication, then we can really effectively target different types of cancer and help various communities who maybe haven’t been helped as much,” Newman says.

Dr. Ramos says these efforts will help researchers understand how cancer affects each parish, but emphasizes the importance of community support. He says everyone in Louisiana should think I of it as a team effort when it comes to finding solutions.

“So, it’s not like I’m gonna solve the problem. Not a bunch of guys in New Orleans, not even if we have a bunch of folks in Monroe and Ruston,” Ramos says. “We all need to be working on together, even the viewers have a role to play, you know, get your screening done.”

Cancer is still the second leading cause of death in Louisiana, which is why the LCRC will continue educating communities on prevention and contributing factors of cancer.