The goal of the Cancer Health Disparities Training Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) is to educate and train talented scientists to become future leaders in cancer health disparities research. Although cancer incidence and mortality have stabilized since the early 1990s rates vary appreciably by race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. To be successful, strategies and approaches to address and ultimately eliminate these disparities should be interdisciplinary and incorporate a broad spectrum of research skills. Therefore, the focus of the UNC Chapel Hill Cancer Health Disparities Training Program will be to train public health researchers in the competencies needed to address and understand cross-cutting health disparity issues in cancer across the cancer continuum from etiology and primary prevention to survivorship. The program will be inclusive of the major cancers (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, skin, and others) and cancer risk factors (e.g. diet, physical activity, obesity, tobacco, screening/early detection, and environmental exposures). Training will provide key educational and research knowledge necessary for the successful conduct of cancer health disparities research, including genetic and molecular epidemiological bases of disparities; cancer epidemiology;research methods;cancer prevention and control (screening/early detection, health promotion, health communications, community-based participatory research, dissemination, policy); disparities related to access to care, socioeconomic status, culture, and survivorship;and critical thinking and synthesis. Training for three postdoctoral fellows per year will be offered by four participating departments in the UNC School of Public Health: Nutrition, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, and Environmental Sciences and Engineering. The post-doctoral trainees will gain experience and develop expertise in cancer health disparities research through a three-tier strategy;1) a specialized curriculum consisting of academic coursework, a field experience, journal club, seminars and conferences, and ethics and cultural competency training;2) a hands-on research experience;and 3) career trajectory mentoring. Each trainee will have at least two mentors from different disciplines. Trainers will be leading cancer disparities researchers from diverse and multiple disciplines drawn from various departments in the UNC School of Public Health and affiliated schools, centers, and institutes. A Training Advisory Committee composed of leaders across the participating departments will select trainees, monitor and evaluate their progress, and advice the Program Director and her Leadership Team. The combination of our experienced and diverse group of trainers, the unique and considerable institutional strengths of UNC Chapel Hill, and the wide-ranging proposed training plan provides an ideal and outstanding environment for a comprehensive program to train future leaders in cancer health disparities research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Damico, Mark W
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Public Health
Chapel Hill
United States
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