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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Research on Cancer and Tobacco-related Diseases

Biomedical Research Section


The Florida Department of Health administers two grant funding programs that fund research on cancer and tobacco-related diseases in the state:

William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program

The Legislature established the following goals:

Expand cancer research capacity in the state by:

  • Identifying ways to attract new research talent and attendant national grant-producing researchers to cancer research facilities in this state;
  • Implementing a peer-reviewed, competitive process to identify and fund the best proposals to expand cancer research institutes in this state;
  • Funding through available resources for those proposals that demonstrate the greatest opportunity to attract federal research grants and private financial support;
  • Encouraging the employment of bioinformatics in order to create a cancer informatics infrastructure that enhances information and resource exchange and integration through researchers working in diverse disciplines, to facilitate the full spectrum of cancer investigations;
  • Facilitating the technical coordination, business development, and support of intellectual property as it relates to the advancement of cancer research; and
  • Aiding in other multidisciplinary research-support activities as they inure to the advancementof cancer research.

Improve both research and treatment through greater participation in clinical trials networks by:

  • Identifying ways to increase adult enrollment in cancer clinical trials;
  • Supporting public and private professional education programs designed to increase the awareness and knowledge about cancer clinical trials;
  • Providing tools to cancer patients and community-based oncologists to aid in the identification of cancer clinical trials available in the state; and
  • Creating opportunities for the state's academic cancer centers to collaborate with community-based oncologists in cancer clinical trials networks.
  • Reduce the impact of cancer on disparate groups by:
    • Identifying those cancers that disproportionately impact certain demographic groups; and
    • Building collaborations designed to reduce health disparities as they relate to cancer.

Researchers at any university or research institute in the state are eligible to apply.

James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program

The Legislature has established the following goals:

  • Improve the health of Floridians by researching better prevention, diagnoses, treatments, and cures for cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pulmonary disease.
  • Expand the foundation of biomedical knowledge relating to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of diseases related to tobacco use, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pulmonary disease.
  • Improve the quality of the state's academic health centers by bringing the advances of biomedical research into the training of physicians and other health care providers.
  • Increase the state's per capita funding for research by undertaking new initiatives in public health and biomedical research that will attract additional funding from outside the state.
  • Stimulate economic activity in the state in areas related to biomedical research, such as the research and production of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices.

Researchers at any university or research institute in the state are eligible to apply.

Biomedical Research Advisory Council

The Biomedical Research Advisory Council advises the State Surgeon General as to the direction and scope of the cancer and tobacco-related diseases research programs.


The responsibilities of the council include:

  • Providing advice on program priorities and emphases.
  • Providing advice on the overall program budget.
  • Participating in periodic program evaluation.
  • Assisting in the development of guidelines to ensure fairness, neutrality, and adherence to the principles of merit and quality in the conduct of the program.
  • Assisting in the development of appropriate linkages to nonacademic entities, such as voluntary organizations, health care delivery institutions, industry, government agencies, and public officials.
  • Developing criteria and standards for the award of research grants.
  • Developing guidelines relating to solicitation, review, and award of research grants and fellowships, to ensure an impartial, high-quality peer review system.
  • Reviewing reports of peer review panels and making recommendations for research grants and fellowships.
  • Developing and providing oversight regarding mechanisms for the dissemination of research results.


The council consists of 11 members with scientific expertise in cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and other tobacco-related diseases.

Biomedical Research Advisory Council

Biomedical Research Advisory Council Strategic Goals and Tactics