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Rogers (far right) monitoring a patient
Rogers portrait

August 24, 2009

SIU Med School Receives NIH Grant to Study Exercise and Breast Cancer

A physician at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a five-year federal grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, for the study of exercise and breast cancer.  Total budget for the grant is $3,581,688.

Dr. Laura Rogers, associate professor of internal medicine and member of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU, is the principal investigator for the project.  The study will test how well exercise improves physical activity behavior in breast cancer survivors after they finish the three-month program.  It also will look at whether the exercise program improves physical fitness, quality of life, fatigue and joint dysfunction.  The results of the research may improve health benefits for patients, reduce side effects and reduce breast cancer recurrence.

Her co-investigators on this grant are Philip Anton, Ph.D., from SIU Carbondale and  Edward McAuley, Ph.D., of the­­­­ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as four from SIU medical school – Patricia-Hopkins Price, Ph.D., Dr. Robert Mocharnuk, Steven Verhulst, Ph.D., and Sandra Vicari, Ph.D.  Two consultants on the project are Kerry Courneya, Ph.D., at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and Dr. Karen Hoelzer, an oncologist in Springfield.

A researcher since 1989, Rogers’ previous research also has focused on healthy lifestyles related to high cholesterol management, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Rogers joined the SIU faculty in 2000.  She completed a two-year fellowship in faculty development in general internal medicine at the University of North Carolina (1990) and her internal medicine residency at the Medical College of Georgia (1985-87).  She earned her medical degree at the University of South Florida School of Medicine (1984), master’s in public health at the University of South Carolina (2000), and bachelor’s at Erskine College (1980).

The SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU is focusing the medical school’s efforts in cancer research, physician and public education, and treatment for patients from across central and southern Illinois.  Its Web site is