Doug Lowy, interim director of the National Cancer Institute, toured the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center on Monday, visiting research labs and cancer patients. In 2013, Markey received a prestigious National Cancer Institute designation, which gives it special access to federal research funding, trials and treatments.
Kentucky suffers from some of the worst cancer incidence and death rates in the nation. It has the most cancer deaths in the nation per 100,000 residents and ranks in the top 10 for lung, colon, head and neck cancers.
Lowy’s research interest centers on the biology of papillomaviruses, including HPV. He and his research partner, Dr. John Schilling, helped develop the initial vaccines for HPV now used widely.
Lowy visited Kentucky last year with U.S. Rep Hal Rogers, looking at cancer disparities in rural areas.