As reported by the New Haven Register, September 29, 2007.

$1.7M in Tobacco Cash to Fund Projects

By Gregory B. Hladky, Capitol Bureau Chief

HARTFORD - More than $1.7 million in state grants for biomedical research into tobacco-related illnesses and their treatments has been awarded to fund six separate projects by doctors and scientists.

The funding, a portion of the tobacco industry's annual settlement payments to Connecticut, will be used to pay for projects that include studies in fields as diverse as ovarian and colon cancer, and a new tumor-specific delivery system for cancer gene therapy.

The largest single grant, $538,605, has been awarded to a project directed by Dr. Lance Bauer, professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, professor of psychiatry at Yale University.

Bauer and Pearlson will use the grant to study brain function and structure in 100 middle-aged people who are heavy smokers.

"While we have made considerable progress in the area of tobacco-use prevention, tobacco-related illnesses continue to be leading causes of disability and death," Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. "This research is helping to shine new light on how tobacco use contributes to chronic diseases, and moves us forward in the effort to save lives of those stricken with cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related diseases."

Sen. Joseph Crisco, D-Woodbridge, said the latest round of grants "is a positive indication that Connecticut is moving forward with a strong commitment to carrying out the goals of the biomedical research bill."

The biomedical research measure was approved by the General Assembly in 2000 and directs that at least $2 million a year be allocated from the amount the state receives in tobacco industry settlement payments for use in research involving tobacco-related diseases.

Other research projects being funded through this year's grants include, to the University of Connecticut Health Center, $299,044 to Dr. Jennifer Tirnauer, for a study of how colon cancer develops; $281,016 to Dr. John Peluso, for a project aimed at improving the overall effectiveness of chemotherapy and reducing undesirable effects; $315,563 to Quing Zhu and Molly Brewer for a study intended to come up with new guides for surgical intervention in high-risk ovarian cancer patients; and $107,409 to David Gregorio, to study the accuracy and adequacy of data used in cancer research.

Also, $177,223 will go to Dr. Yingqun Huang of the Yale University School of Medicine to study development of technology for delivery of cancer gene therapy.