From the Director

People often ask me why I pursued a career in cancer research.  From a young age, I knew that several of my family members had been affected with cancer. In particular, two of my grandparents had died of cancer and several other closely –related family members had been diagnosed with cancer or pre-cancer.  Early on I knew that cancer "ran in my family," and wanted to know if I would one day also be afflicted with cancer. 

Now, I serve as the Director of the Hampton University Cancer Research Center (HUCRC). The mission of the Hampton University Cancer Research Center is to foster collaborative, transdisciplinary research and apply novel strategies to cancer research, while leveraging expertise and resources at Hampton University, to contribute to cancer prevention, the understanding of carcinogenesis, improving cancer outcomes and eliminating cancer disparities.My vision for the HUCRC is to become internationally recognized for cutting edge basic and clinical-translational research of cancers including those that disproportionately affect ethnically diverse and underserved populations.

To achieve our mission, the HUCRC will bring together multidisciplinary scientists and educators, such as biologists, chemists, mathematicians, pharmacists, engineers, and physicians, to collaboratively address the high incidence and prevalence of cancer in the Hampton Roads area. The goal is to address these high rates from different angles, from educating the community about cancer screening to developing new genomic diagnostic tools to increasing access to clinical trials at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute.

I welcome you to visit our labs at the Hampton University Main Campus at the Frank Fountain Biomedical Research Building 1 and the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute.  Please also explore our website to find out about the research accomplishments, community events, and training activities.  I also encourage you to reach out to our investigators and let us know how cancer has affected you.  We want to hear about how we can best address cancer in Hampton Roads.  In order to be successful in the war against cancer, your engagement and support will be key.  I look forward to working with you to "KNOW Cancer" and to eliminate cancer in Hampton Roads.


Luisel J. Ricks-Santi, PhD