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Special Monthly Spotlight: Basic Science Research in Cancer Health Disparities

Basic Science Research
2014 AACR Conference on Cancer Health Disparities

NCI/CRCHD’s Disparities Research Branch focuses on two principal areas: basic science research and community-based participatory research (CBPR). In December, we’ll share some initiatives in basic science research that are bringing us one step closer to understanding the biological causes of cancer health disparities.

Basic science research is driven by a fundamental aim – to enhance our understanding of biological variations of cancer incidence, prevalence, and mortality of racially and ethnically diverse populations – with a goal to identify effective and targeted treatments that save even more lives.

Examples of current NCI/CRCHD-funded research in Basic Science are:

  • Multi-omic approaches for detecting liver cancer: Dr. Habtom Ressom, NCI CRCHD R21 grantee at Georgetown University is seeking a method that detects liver cancer early – with an ultimate goal to save more lives.
  • Disparities in centrosomal profiles of African American and European American breast cancer patients. (This research involves looking at the genes encoded in proteins located in the centrosome, the critical area of the cell that directs cell division.)

    This was one of the 2014 AACR Cancer Health Disparities conference “hot topics” and the research focus of Nikita Wright, a CRCHD Diversity Supplement recipient from Georgia State University.
  • Metals and genetic toxicology: Dr. Diane Stearns, co-lead of the Northern Arizona (NAU)/Arizona Cancer Center (AZCC) PACHE partnership, focuses her research on metals and how they damage DNA in ways that may lead to cancer. The NAU/AZCC partnership aims to improve cancer care for Native Americans in the area, as well as provide training programs for Native American students and researchers.

Visit the links below to learn more:



Updated: 12/18/14