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Oncology researcher Victoria Champion honored with naming of new center and IU President’s Medal



INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has announced the formation of the Champion Center for Cancer Control Research. The new center, located at the IU School of Nursing, was named for Distinguished Professor Victoria Champion, an international leader in oncology research.

The Champion Center will expand and strengthen the School of Nursing’s research and research training program in cancer prevention and control. With 11 faculty members pursuing groundbreaking research in oncology, the school has the largest number of oncology research-intensive faculty in the country, making the creation of this new center a strategic component for building its research portfolio well into the 21st century. The center builds on a highly regarded research collaborative, the Behavioral Cooperative Oncology Group, which Champion founded in 1996.

“This center provides a focal point for a research area in which IU and the School of Nursing have been internationally recognized,” IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate said. “Bringing together cancer research, as well as work related to the management of symptoms and the encouragement of behaviors that prevent cancer, will make it easier to generate support and fund research. It also creates a place where people who want to make a difference in this field can receive excellent training — training that will improve countless lives.”

President McRobbie also presented Champion with the President’s Medal for Excellence. The President’s Medal for Excellence, which reproduces in silver the jewel of office worn by IU’s president at ceremonies, is the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

“Professor Champion’s research in behavioral oncology, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than three decades, has helped to create a large body of knowledge from which interventions continue to be developed that facilitate the discovery of cancer at earlier and more curable stages,” McRobbie said. “Her research has focused on increasing cancer screening to decrease cancer morbidity and mortality and on cancer survivorship. Her work during her distinguished career has helped to reach underserved minorities, has pushed the boundaries of technology to foster cost-effective breast cancer screening, has helped to increase communication between patients and health care providers, and has improved the quality of life for countless cancer survivors.”

Champion holds the school’s Edward W. and Sarah Stam Cullipher Chair and serves as the associate director of population science research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, where she is responsible for scientific and administrative oversight of the center’s population science research programs and all community engagement programs. Her findings have been published in highly respected nursing and interdisciplinary professional journals, presented at a wide variety of international and national conferences and symposia, and translated into a number of other languages to support increased cancer screening.

Champion also received the 2016 Ada Sue Hinshaw Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research at an Oct. 19 gala in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes individuals whose substantive and sustained program of science affords them recognition as a prominent senior scientist.