University of Illinois Cancer Center members Dr. Abiola Ibraheem and Dr. Ryan Nguyen have been selected to receive the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Award. Sponsored by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Gilead Sciences and the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, the two-year award recognizes “outstanding professional achievements and promise as a community-oriented clinical researcher.”
The new initiative, named for former University of Illinois Cancer Center director and current Massey Cancer Center director Dr. Robert Winn, is designed to “transform the clinical research landscape,” according to a press release from BMSF and Gilead Sciences. “Together, we will strengthen partnerships between clinical investigators and communities, increase the diversity of patients enrolled in clinical trials, and enhance the development of therapeutics for all populations.”
Along with receiving $120,000 per year, Ibraheem and Nguyen will receive sponsorship, training, mentoring, resources and a network to support their development as a clinical investigator. They will also receive training in investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials, and in community outreach and engagement.
Ibraheem and Nguyen will also mentor the next generation of diverse clinical researchers. In June and July 2023, 60 medical students from underrepresented groups in medicine will participate in the Robert A. Winn Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (CIPP), a six-week community site-based immersion program. The two cancer center members will be matched with a student who shares their interests and who will learn from their experience.