American Cancer Society Partners with CDU for Diversity in Cancer Research Program
CDU has been awarded a grant through American Cancer Society’s Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Program. The University was one of four institutions selected by ACS for the new program, standing alongside three HBCUs including Howard University, Meharry Medical College, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
The program is designed to help improve diversity, equity and inclusion in cancer research. The DICR program has awarded CDU and the other schools with DICR Institutional Development Grants for the 2021-2022 pilot program.
“The development of diverse, highly competitive and independent research faculty has been a goal at CDU since its inception 55 years ago,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, CDU President and CEO. “We are grateful to the American Cancer Society for their support in this mission.”
The goal of this program is to create a more inclusive research environment to address health disparities more effectively and could lead to targeted recruitment efforts focused on involving people of color into clinical research protocols. This has potential to establish a research community made of a diverse group of people and is vital to ensuring scientific excellence.
“Our newly funded ACS DCRIDG Program builds on almost 20 years of ongoing cancer health disparities research at CDU that is focused on cutting edge cancer research, education, training, clinical trials, and community engagement and outreach in South Los Angeles,” stated Dr. Jay Vadgama, Vice President for Research and Health Affairs, Professor of Medicine and Director of Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities at CDU. “This specific program will continue to enhance our capability in recruiting more diversity in cancer research, and develop cancer investigators committed to addressing social justice, while improving access to cancer prevention, treatment and care for our African American and Latinx populations.”
Dr. Vadgama is the Principal Investigator of this ACS DCRIDG Program at CDU.
With the DICR program, American Cancer Society has committed to a $12 million investment to support the four awarded medical schools with DICR institutional development grants to fund a four-year program that aims to increase the pool of minority cancer researchers by identifying talented students and faculty from HBCU and Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGIs) like CDU.
“The American Cancer Society is committed to launching the brightest minds into cancer research and to reducing health disparities,” said Dr. William Cance, American Cancer Society Chief Medical and Scientific Officer. “To accomplish this, we believe it is essential to invest in the minority workforce and their dedicated efforts to solve disparities and establish equity in cancer care.”
This program will inform efforts to develop a national program to boost cancer research and career development at minority-serving institutions (MSIs). These grants are designed to build capacity and enhance the competitiveness of faculty at MSIs when applying for nationally competitive grant support and aid in faculty development and retention.
The generous grant from the American Cancer Society will directly support a range of programs at CDU toward that goal, including the Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities as well as CDU’s Clinical Research and Career Development Program, which provides training and mentoring in health disparities and community-partnered participatory research to minority scholars and junior faculty at the University.