Past Studies

The Saccomanno Research Institute was established to formally institutionalize and continue the internationally recognized community based clinical research carried out by Dr. Geno Saccomanno. This work included:

  • The development of sputum cytology methods for use in early lung cancer detection
  • Analyses of lung cancer incidences in uranium workers and the establishment of a uranium miner tissue archive
  • National and international studies evaluating the roles of radiation, smoking, age and latency on the incidence and histologic type of lung cancer
  • Understanding COPD as a risk factor in lung cancer
  • The use of genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in early lung cancer detection
  • The use of serum biomarkers in early lung cancer detection
  • The potential use of retinoids in the treatment of lung cancer and the prevention of lung cancer in high risk subjects
  • The identification of genetic risk factors in developing familial lung cancer.


Past basic and clinical research studies at the Saccomanno Research Institute have included:

  • The role of K-ras, p53, and cyclin D-dependent kinase inhibitors in lung cancers
  • Understanding the role of environmental and industrial toxins in cancer initiation and development
  • Genomic organization, polymorphisms and biochemistry of the NPC gene (NPC1) in Niemann-Pick C disease
  • Analysis of the effects of nicotine on cell cycle entry and progression in human peripheral blood T lymphocytes
  • Studies to elucidate how hantaviruses evade host immune responses and establish life-long persistence in deer mice.
  • A community based lung cancer screening trial
  • Genetic susceptibility to lung cancer and toxicogenetics (continuation of genetic risk factors in developing familial lung cancer) 


Other past studies and programs at the Saccomanno Research Institute have also included:

  • Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP)
  • Community health risk analysis of oil and gas industry: Public health concerns for Garfield county
  • International study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISACC)
  • Reducing School Absences Due to Asthma Exacerbations in Mesa County Valley School District 51