The first of four summer research programs at the University of Illinois Cancer Center wrapped up with medical students in the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) presenting their research at a joint culminating event with Winn CIPP participants at nearby Rush University.
Winn CIPP participants at the Cancer Center (LaTimberly Washington, Nhu Tuyet Le, Daniel Ufearo and Christopher Zazueta) were mentored by Cancer Center member physician-scientist mentors Ryan Nguyen, DO (Le); Natalie Reizine, MD, (Washington); Frank Weinberg, MD, (Zazueta); and Abiola Ibraheem, MD, (Ufearo).
Medical Student Research
The medical students each presented a slide deck to explain and their discuss their work.
- “Understanding the Socioeconomic Impact on the Nutritional Status of Patients with Prostate Cancer” by Washington, a MD/MBA student at the University of Alabama Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine
- “Investigating Disparities in Enrollment of Patients in Lung Cancer Clinical Trials That Led to FDA Approval for Immunotherapies: A Comparison with the US Population” by Le, a medical student at the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in Philadelphia
- “Patient Perceptions and Recommendations for Implementing Clinical Trials and Educational Methods in the Nigerian Setting: A Qualitative Study” by Ufearo, a medical student at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York
- Characterization of Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Participation” by Christopher Zazueta, a medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.
All four of the summer programs are a critical part of the mission of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) team to build pipeline programs to train diverse cancer researchers from grade school students to early-stage investigators. The goal is to educate, support and retain trainees from minority groups to address the needs of the Cancer Center’s diverse patient population.
Nearly 30 Cancer Center members are serving as mentors to students in the summer programs.
The high school programs – Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS) and researcHStart – and the undergraduate program – University of Illinois Diversity in Cancer Research Internship (UI DICR) – are ongoing. The two high school programs, with a total of 17 students, run until August 4, while the undergraduate program, with eight students, goes to August 11.