The purpose of this project is to develop and execute a cancer prevention and control curriculum training program at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) that will help prepare professional students in public health and in the biomedical sciences for positions in cancer prevention and control research. The curriculum will be based on a framework for addressing cancer prevention and control from bench to bedside to community and will emphasize research targeted at reduction and elimination of cancer disparities. It will include courses that will provide the students with a suitable knowledge base in the areas of cancer epidemiology and cancer prevention and control and that will teach them how to do research in cancer prevention and control and to develop interventions to reduce disparities;practicum experiences designed to enhance the understanding and application of knowledge and research findings in cancer prevention and control to public health settings by providing an opportunity to gain practical experience, at an appropriate level and content, in the field of cancer prevention and control;and opportunities to conduct research in cancer prevention and control under the guidance of cancer researchers. The faculty of this training program will be drawn from the various graduate teaching programs at MSM, thereby integrating it into MSM training programs. The curriculum will be developed in year one, and it will be offered to students in MSM's Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Research, Doctor of Medicine and Minority Summer Public Health Fellowship programs. An evaluation plan will be implemented to constantly monitor the program and assess its success in achieving its goals and objectives, and the results will be used for ongoing improvement.
There is a tremendous need in the US to increase the number of minority scientists, particularly in academic medicine. Although African Americans suffer from major health disparities, less than 1% of investigator-initiated grant dollars go to Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU) and less than 1% of R01-funded research is awarded to African American researchers. This R25 grant will help to ensure that investigators at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), an HBCU, can play a major role in cancer research by creating a cadre of public health and health care professionals at MSM who have an increased capacity to describe health disparities related to cancer and associated mechanisms over time and across the cancer continuum, and by strengthening the skills and level of competence of MSM graduates in preparation for their inclusion in the public health workforce in the field of cancer prevention and control.