$2.2 million grant aims at reducing cancer disparities
Public Health Moment
[powerpress url="http://www.advances.umn.edu/audio/Grant_intended_to_reduce_cancer_disparities.mp3"]Listen to Jean Forster on Public Health Moment (1:30)
In an effort to reduce cancer-related health disparities, the National Cancer Institute is providing a $2.2 million training grant to the University of Minnesota’s Medical School and School of Public Health. The grant will be used to help researchers develop, test, and evaluate intervention strategies related to reducing these disparities.
Jean Forster, a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, explains what we already know about these disparities.
“Racial ethnic minority groups are often more likely to get cancer and to die from cancer of various kinds than the general population,” she said. “For example, African American men have a 32-percent higher rate of cancer than white men. And African American women have a 16-percent higher rate of cancer compared to white women.”
About the training
The investigators will consist of three pre-doctoral and three post-doctoral fellows, all studying cancer-related health disparities who are members of the University’s Health Disparities Work Group.
“The Health Disparities Work Group grant provides a unique collaboration between the School of Public Health, the Medical School and our community,” said Forster.
The six fellows will work closely with their academic and community mentors, as well as psychologists, physicians, epidemiologists and community organizations to address community-identified problems that can exacerbate cancer-related health disparities. These problems can range from risk factors for cancer like obesity, smoking cessation and nutrition to health care access and immigrant health issues that affect cancer treatment.
The program can be tailored to suit the individual’s training requirements with opportunities for teaching experience, clinical and community-based work, publication of research, collaborative grant writing experience, and independent grant submission.
“This is really about training the next generation of researchers to focus specifically on that issue of what can we do to reduce that disparity,” Forster said. She added that another goal is to “train individuals from vulnerable populations to do this research. They’re much more effective in working with their own communities. We really want to make the research workforce more diverse.”
About the Health Disparities Work Group
The Health Disparities Working Group mission is to give greater visibility to health disparities research at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health (SPH) and nationally; develop collaborations with faculty and community partners; and ensure SPH students are well trained to work in a diverse society.