The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently released its Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for 2020, which features the research of Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump, associate professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bae-Jump has received training and career development grants from NCI that have allowed her the time and funding to focus on her groundbreaking research on the metabolic and molecular differences of endometrial tumors in obese and non-obese women while maintaining a clinical practice treating her gynecologic cancer patients. Endometrial cancer rates have been increasing in the U.S., with the obesity epidemic as a major culprit. Obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance are well-known factors associated with both increased risk of developing endometrial cancer and increased risk of death from this disease. Thus, Bae-Jump’s work on delineating the impact of obesity and diabetes on the underlying biology of endometrial cancer is critical to improving outcomes for this highly obesity-driven disease.

Her work is featured in the report’s section on ‘Strengthening the Cancer Research Enterprise,’ recognizing her recent award from NCI, which this year converted a five-year grant (R01) to a seven-year grant (R37).

“The R01 gives you the feeling that you’ve finally made it. It gives credibility,” Bae-Jump states in the report. NCI’s increase of their support with two additional years of funding will help her stay focused on her research without having to worry about applying for more grants.

“The two extra years of funding will allow me and my laboratory more time and resources to identify better ways to prevent and treat patients with endometrial cancer,” she states.

NCI’s annual plan directs attention to areas where there is unique potential to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer. This year’s report identifies NCI’s areas of focus, which are to:

  • Develop the workforce of cancer investigators;
  • Reaffirm commitment to basic science to drive novel approaches and technologies;
  • Innovate the design, administration, and analyses of clinical trials; and
  • Increase data aggregation and interpretation to speed work across the cancer enterprise.