The Four HBCU Medical Schools Look to Increase Diversity in Cancer Research

The American Cancer Society (ACS), along with four historically Black medical schools including Charles Drew Medical School, Howard University, Meharry Medical College. and Morehouse School of Medicine, have announced the establishment of a Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) program to help improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cancer research field.

The American Cancer Society has committed to a $12 million investment to support four HBCU 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 HBCUs.

The grants will provide a large amount of salary support for the four colleges to select clinical faculty who need more dedicated time for their cancer research and scholarly activities. The grants will build sustainability for both clinical and scientific cancer-focused careers, launching or sustaining the careers of 104 individuals by 2025. The program aims to create a more inclusive research environment to address health disparities more effectively and could lead to targeted recruitment efforts focused on bringing people of color into clinical research protocols.

“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.”

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