The American Association for Cancer Research requests renewal of support for the project entitled ?Young Minority Scientists in the Field of Cancer.? The funds provide scholar awards to support the attendance of young scientists from NIH-recognized minority populations at highcaliber national scientific meetings. This project is an integral part of a multilevel program instituted by the AACR to address the problem of under-representation of minorities working in cancer research and biomedical science. Predoctoral (graduate and medical) students, clinical and postdoctoral fellows, residents, and junior investigators, who are either engaged in cancer research or have the training and the potential to make contributions in the field, are eligible for the award. It also applies only to minority groups that have been defined by the NCI as being traditionally underrepresented in cancer and biomedical research: African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanic or Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Native Pacific Islanders. Awardees receive funds for travel, hotel, subsistence, and registration fees in conjunction with their attendance at the AACR Annual Meeting or an AACR Special Conference. Their attendance at one of these meetings exposes them to the full spectrum of high-quality cancer research being performed nationally and internationally, and buttresses their knowledge base in the cancer field. The project also aims to increase the number of minority scientists and physicians working in cancer research and biomedical science, to contribute to the research training and networking opportunities of young minority investigators in the cancer field, and to facilitate relationships between young minority scientists and senior investigators in the field, who may function as mentors and thereby contribute to the career development and professional success of young scientists as cancer researchers.
Beyond the direct benefits to Awardees, the program has potentially wider implications for the health status of the minority population in general, resulting from the formation of a larger pool of minority cancer researchers and clinicians. This is because a wider pool of researchers will not only train and inspire the next generations of minority researchers, but also further explore issues relating to minority health disparities. In addition, Minority researchers have a better prospect of recruiting and collaborating with minority study subjects, and a significant increase in the number and visibility of minority cancer researchers might serve as an effective antidote to attitudes of distrust on the part of study participants and help lead to greater trust on the part of minorities in the medical and research establishment.