The American Cancer Society has awarded an Institutional Research Grant (IRG) of $360,000 to Michelle Ozbun, as principal investigator overseeing the grant. Ozbun has a doctorate in Molecular Virology (breast cancer and cancer viruses) and is with the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the UNM Health Sciences Center.

Ozbun is a cancer biologist/virologist with a strong commitment to mentoring the young scientists that this grant will benefit. In 1998, Ozbun received Society's IRG funding to establish her research program on human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. She has since received continual national funding to continue her work on the early events in HPV infections and co-factors with HPV in cancer progression.

Institutional Research Grants (IRG) are awarded to institutions as block grants that provide seed money for independent beginning investigators to initiate cancer research projects. The grant, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011, is among 94 national research and training grants announced by the Society for 2011.

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