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CRCHD Spotlight: Program Meetings 2011 Highlights

CRCHD Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings 2011 Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings 2011

July 12-15, 2011
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center
Rockville, MD
CRCHD Program Meetings 2011

NCI/CRCHD hosted more than 600 national and international cancer researchers, practitioners, trainees, students, and community activists at the 2011 NCI/CRCHD Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings held July 12-15th.

Opening the program, Dr. Sanya A. Springfield, Director of CRCHD, welcomed the attendees to the Meetings and encouraged participants to engage in the following activities over the course of the four days:

  • Share scientific advances and best practices in the cancer health disparities field
  • Exchange information and resources
  • Build and/or strengthen collaborations that could advance cancer health disparities research and promote training of diverse investigators

Click here to view comments by Dr. Sanya A. Springfield on the 2011 Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings.

The Program Meetings were broken down into the following sections:

Plenary Sessions


Moderator: Dr. Dinah Singer, Director of NCI's Division of Cancer Biology (DCB)

Plenary Session I focused on new developments in the understanding of biological mechanisms of cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis, as well as what the research can teach us about tailored community outreach and interventions.

The session included presentations organized around three topics of discussion:

  • Genetics and Epigenetics – Biological Differences
  • Tumor Biology and Cancer Health Disparities
  • Imaging Technologies, Therapeutics, and Tailored Medicine

Click here to preview presentations from this session.


Moderator: Dr. Robert Croyle, Director of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS)

Plenary Session II was organized around research that has examined co-morbid conditions and their influence on cancer and treatment practice. The session additionally focused on cancer as a growing cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa.

The following topics were addressed in the session:

  • Co-morbid conditions, such as obesity and HIV/AIDS, in terms of their potential impact on cancer, treatment adherence, and delivery of care
  • Obesity and Cancer Health Disparities
  • Global Health and Africa-U.S Cancer Health Disparities

Click here to view presentations from this session.


Moderators: Dr. Regina Smith James, Medical Officer, Division of Special Populations, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Dr. Cathy Meade, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center; and Dr. Dale Watson, Pinellas County Health Department

Plenary Session III addressed community engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods to ensure that culturally sensitive strategies are developed and implemented, and community trust is developed. Presentations highlighted the importance of including communities in key phases of research and community outreach/education.

The plenary session focused on the following topics:

  • Acknowledgement of Diversity and Ethical Issues in CBPR
  • CBPR Strategies in Action
  • Community Involvement in Research Planning and Implementation, Design, Evaluation, and Dissemination Phases

Click here to view presentations from this session.

Program-Level Meetings


Program-level meetings provided principal investigators (PIs) and NCI/CRCHD program staff to review ongoing research/training progress and accomplishments, share lessons learned, and discuss future directions in an effort to accelerate development and translation of cancer health disparities advances, and plan for new initiatives and collaborations.

CRCHD convened meetings for each of the NCI/CRCHD programs below:


Professional and career development skills are important aspects of becoming a successful investigator. Interactive, professional development workshops to enhance grantsmanship and career path navigation among CURE trainees and students were offered on the first day of the Program Meetings.

The workshop was organized around the following topics:

  • Career Paths
  • Intramural and Extramural Research Opportunities at NCI
  • Grant Application Process
  • Student Programs

Mock Review Session

Preparing a successful grant application is one of the most challenging aspects of being a successful health disparities researcher. To help scientists meet the challenge of successfully making it through the grant application review process, CRCHD devoted an afternoon during the Professional Development Workshop to a Mock Review session. Mock reviews have proven to be a valuable tool for teaching scientists about the grant review process and the criteria used for rating grant applications.

In preparation for the Mock Review, selected assistant or associate professor level reviewers participated in two pre-Mock Review training teleconferences. They received training in how to recognize the qualities of a successful grant application and how to score applications. During the Mock Review itself, the panel scored actual R01 and R21 grant proposals written by the session participants.

Click here to see the full list of professional development workshops.

Click here to see presentations from the workshops.


At the end of each of the first three days of the Program Meetings, CRCHD hosted a "Meet and Greet" session that proved to be a valuable educational opportunity for participants, many of whom were early- and mid-career scientists. It was a chance to network with NCI, NIH, and other government agencies, as well as learn about available programs, and related research and training funding options.

Below is the list of participating offices:


For these Program Meetings, CRCHD partnered with Susan G. Komen for the CURE® to bring together NCI-supported disparities researchers and health-related community outreach groups from the National Capital Area (MD, DC, VA). The session, attended by approximately 80 individuals from more than thirty community organizations and research institutions, was an opportunity to brainstorm and discuss issues of access, research participation, and biospecimen collection for breast cancer prevention and care among diverse populations.

The session opened with a three-person panel presentation that offered varying perspectives on obstacles to breast cancer care and research in the National Capital Area:

  • Dr. Jean Ford, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who discussed the importance of research participation in advancing cancer science
  • Ms. Heather Patrick, Director of Community Grantmaking, Susan G. Komen Foundation who highlighted themes from Komen's Community Profile of the National Capital Area
  • Ms. Norma Davila, clinical trials participant and breast cancer survivor, who recounted her personal struggle to obtain breast cancer care in the National Capital Area, given her lack of healthcare insurance and her limited English

Following the panel presentation, participants engaged in discussions in roundtable breakouts on one of three topics:

  • Barriers to accessing care
  • Barriers to participating in clinical trials
  • Barriers to collecting biospecimens

Discussions concluded with brief table-by-table report outs highlighting the following needs:

  • Web-based central clearinghouse directory, where different organizations' contact information, missions, materials, and links to resources could be listed and easily updated
  • Tailored models for engagement with new groups, especially physicians, that focus on two cancer research areas—biospecimen research and clinical trials
  • Researcher/community forums to build trust and address misperceptions

Participants received a PinkLINK resource book that included descriptive and contact information about each of the participating organizations, designed to encourage networking and collaboration.

Click here to view presentations from this session.


The Program Meetings concluded with a luncheon honoring Dr. Ken Chu, former chief of the Disparities Research Branch at CRCHD, who retired December 31, 2010 after 39 years and 2 months of government service. His dedication to scientific excellence and compassion towards the underserved help to lay the foundation for, and spawn cancer health disparities research encompassing not just social sciences, but also basic sciences.

In-person and written tributes to Chu came pouring in, including those by Cathy Meade, Claudia Baquet, Elmer Huerta, Dao Fang, Moon Chen, Howard Koh, and Grace Ma.

Among the many awards given to Chu was a plaque from NCI, presented by Sanya Springfield, CRCHD director, in appreciation of his four decades of unwavering passion and commitment, outstanding leadership, and scientific excellence in the cancer and cancer health disparities fields.

The luncheon ended with a photo collage slideshow, shown on a large screen accompanied by "My Heroes," a song dedicated to Chu, written and sung by Susan Shinagawa.

Click here to view the slideshow produced for the award luncheon.

Interactive Opportunities

For the first time, CRCHD hosted a hands-on session that offered participants interactive opportunities to increase their awareness and knowledge of research resources such as:

  • Scientific research databases
  • Online resources
  • Applicable tools

Sessions demonstrated a myriad of databases, resources, and tools and strategies that are available across NIH/NCI and externally for professional enhancement and research.

Click here to see the full list of Interactive Hands-On Sessions.

Poster and Video Presentations


During the evening Meet and Greet sessions, participants had the opportunity to engage in interactive poster sessions (LINK to list or abstracts of poster exhibited) that covered a wide range of cancer health disparities-related topics. Highlights included:

  • Novel cancer health disparities scientific, clinical, and training efforts
  • Cancer health disparities applications in the community
  • Policy implications of various approaches across the cancer control continuum among diverse populations

Posters were judged by a CRCHD Poster Review and Judging Committee who scored all posters based on scientific content, clarity of presentation, innovation, thoroughness, as well as presenter's responses to judges' questions.

Below are this year's 10 poster winners by career stage and type of research:

Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings 2011 Poster Winners
High School/ Undergraduate

Natalie Mendez
University of California San Diego

Renally Excreted Multimodal Silica Nanoparticles as Melanoma-Selective Therapeutic Platforms for Nanomedicine

Joah Aliancy
H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center and Research Institute

Developing an LC-MRM Method to Monitor the Abundance and Activation State of Specific Src Kinases Associated with Multiple Myeloma



Brooke Sylvester
University of Chicago

Molecular Genetics of Colorectal Cancer Progression in a Diverse Patient Cohort

(F31 Graduate Students)
Marianna Sarkissyan
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Diabetes Type II and Hypertension Are Associated with Breast Cancer in African American and Hispanic Women


Early-Stage Investigator

Jacqueline Casillas
University of California Los Angeles

PADRES Contra EI Cáncer (PADRES)-UCLA Research Collaborative: Defining a Functional Work Model for Conducting Survivorship Research in the Latino Community


Sunmin Lee
University of Maryland School of Public Health

What Is Lacking in Patient-Physician Communication: From Asian American Breast Cancer Patients' and Oncologists' Perspectives

(CNPCs, NON, and PNRPs)

Mid-Career Investigator

Tonya Webb
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Mutations in BRCA-1 Result in the Functional Loss of NKT Cells

(K-series CURE Diversity)

Julie Dang
AANCART: The National Center for Reducing Asian American Cancer Health Disparities

Asian Pacific Islander Cancer Education Materials (APICEM) Web Portal

(NCCCP, CHE and other CRCHD portfolio affiliates)

Seasoned Investigator

Harvey Bumpers
Morehouse School of Medicine

Predictive Molecular Markers of Colorectal Cancer for African American Patients


Eugene Lengerich
Penn State Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine

The Role of Faith and Rurality in Clinical Research Study Participation: Results from a Theory-Based Study of Clinical Trials Education in Pennsylvania

(CNPCs and PNRP)


Attendees also had the opportunity to view YouTube videos submitted by grantees. Running on a continuous loop, the videos featured new, innovative, and/or successful aspects of grantees' work in areas of training, research, and outreach/education. The list of videos is shown below.

Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings 2011 YouTube Videos
Outreach ACCN and Bonnie's Bus

A Window to Better Health

Cancer and Culture - A Chamorro Perspective On Being Diagnosed With Cancer

Circles of Care
Appalachia Community Cancer Network – University of Kentucky CNP

University of New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque

California State University Fullerton – Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


Dr. Lynn Matrisian- Cancer Disparities

Cancer Awareness Initiative Introduces Inflatable Colon

Reduce Cancer Health Disparities-Dr. Samuel Adunyah

Meharry Medical College – Vanderbilt University Cancer Center Partnership

New Mexico State University

Meharry Medical College – Vanderbilt University Cancer Center Partnership


Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio— Redes en Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network

Click here to view the complete 2011 Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings.

Click here to view presentations from the 2011 Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings.

Photos from Program Meetings 2011

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CRCHD Program Meetings 2011 CRCHD Program Meetings 2011
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CRCHD staff and other attendees at the
Cancer Health Disparities Program Meetings 2011

Updated: 05/16/13