#ICYMI listen here to University of Illinois Cancer Center member Ankur Saxena, PhD, part of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology research program, on WVON’s “Dr. in the House with Dr. Terry Mason” talking about pediatric cancer. The show aired live on the radio on September 3.
Since 2015, the Saxena Lab at UIC has worked to reveal new details of how stem cells and cancer cells behave in their natural environments. The goal is to better understand causes of birth defects, neuronal loss, and pediatric cancer progression, with a focus on revealing connections between these seemingly disparate topics that, in fact, have a surprising amount in common.
Saxena and his lab are among the inaugural recipients of the Cancer Center’s Hope Leaders Fellowships, a program dedicated to building bidirectional relationships between scientists and community organizations. Two community organizations, Advocates for Community Wellness and Equal Hope, alomg with Cancer Center member Ekrem Emrah Er, PhD, are the other recipients.
About Hope Leaders Fellowships
The program will empower community organization leaders to communicate the health needs of the communities they represent directly to Cancer Center researchers; return to their communities and disseminate information about cancer research discoveries and health resources available at UI Health; and build trust for the cancer research infrastructure in traditionally underserved communities.
The program aims to enrich basic research training by teaching trainees in the scientists’ labs how to develop research projects that are relevant to the community; adjust research activities to reflect changing needs; and share relevant research data with the people who are most impacted.
The “hope’ is that the program will begin to address structural realities behind disparities in cancer outcomes that exist today by building a long-term, sustainable community-research partnership.