AACR expands cancer research knowledge with scholarships for minority and women scientists

118 Receive Scholar Awards to participate in American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 1-5, 2006

Three Scholar Awards programs, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, will provide scientists traditionally underrepresented in cancer research with financial support to participate in the premier international meeting in the field. The AACR Annual Meeting draws nearly 16,000 clinical oncologists, basic scientists, epidemiologists and translational researchers from around the world to discuss the latest findings and most significant information in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research. More than 6,000 scientific abstracts will be presented this year.

"The AACR maintains a strong commitment to enhancing the educational and training opportunities available to the next generation of cancer researchers," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), AACR's chief executive officer.

"Our primary mission is to promote the exchange of knowledge and new ideas among the scientists on the front lines in the quest for the prevention and cure of cancer," Foti added. "These awards seek to improve the inclusiveness of cancer research, so that no pool of potential talent goes untapped."

77 early-career scientists received AACR Minority Scholar Awards in Cancer Research to participate in the 2006 AACR Annual Meeting. These awardees were selected on the basis of their scientific qualifications, references from mentors, and an estimation of the potential professional benefit to the awardees. During the meeting they will attend scientific sessions, participate in networking events, and 69 awardees will present meritorious scientific papers.

Criteria for candidacy for this award program include the stipulation that the applicant fit the National Cancer Institute definition of groups traditionally underrepresented in cancer and biomedical research: African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Native Pacific Islanders. Additionally, eligible candidates must be full-time graduate or medical students, residents, clinical or postdoctoral fellows, or junior faculty members. The award will provide complimentary registration, travel expenses, and a subsistence stipend to participate in the Annual Meeting.

The Minority Scholar Awards are supported generously by grants from the Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch of the National Cancer Institute and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The AACR Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar Awards in Cancer Research aims to increase the scientific knowledge base of faculty members at Minority-Serving Institutions, encourage their research, and help them to inspire their students. Formally known as the AACR-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Scholar Awards, the program has been expanded to include predominantly Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities to extend its reach. These awards also are supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute's Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Candidates must have completed doctoral studies or clinical fellowships relevant to cancer research and hold full-time faculty positions at the level of assistant professor or above at an institution designated as minority-serving. They must also be engaged in meritorious basic, clinical or translational cancer research. Each of the 31 AACR-MSI Faculty Scholars chosen this year will receive financial support toward expenses associated with attending the AACR Annual Meeting or Special Conferences.

A committee of the AACR Minorities in Cancer Research Council administers both of these award programs.

The AACR-Women in Cancer Research Brigid G. Leventhal Scholar Awards in Cancer Research honor members of AACR-Women in Cancer Research who are scientists-in-training and first authors of meritorious scientific papers selected for presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting. They are full-time graduate students, medical students, residents, clinical fellows or the equivalent, or postdoctoral fellows. The awards are named for Dr. Brigid Gray Leventhal, who began her career in pediatric oncology at the National Cancer Institute, conducting clinical and laboratory research on leukemia and other childhood cancers. Subsequently, she served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, until her own life was claimed by cancer in 1994.

There are 10 AACR-WICR Brigid G. Leventhal Scholars in 2006. The WICR Council sponsors the awards with the generous support of a grant from AstraZeneca.

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Editors Note: The names, affiliations and, where applicable, abstract titles of all Scholar Award winners' research projects can be obtained by e-mailing ortiz@aacr.org

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 24,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 60 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts over 16,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment, and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication, CR, is a magazine for cancer survivors, patient advocates, their families, physicians, and scientists. It provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship, and advocacy.


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