The goal of the Cancer Research Education Program (C-REP) Core is to increase the training, educational and research opportunities in the field of minority health and cancer disparities among students at various levels (undergraduate, graduate, health professional) and research investigators. Howard University (HU) and Georgetown University (GU) will create an academic home to achieve the key goal of a collaborative program, building on their 40-year legacy of partnership. Together, the members of the C-REP leadership team bring many years of experience in population, clinical, and translational research with a focus on cancer disparities and in the successful development and implementation of training and mentoring programs. Their expertise spans clinical, translational, behavioral, health services, and population sciences. The C-REP Core has three specific aims. (1) To engage in curriculum development to support the proposed cancer research education training experiences for students; (2) To promote the careers of students and research investigators who are pursuing or planning to pursue a career in cancer disparities research; and (3) to engage and develop minority health and health disparities cancer research investigators, particularly those who are members of populations with health disparities, through targeted mentoring of research investigators. The first step in accomplishing this objective is to develop and implement a student-center and faulty-centered cancer education curriculum, drawn partially from existing courses with the addition of content developed specifically for the P20 cancer disparities educational goals. Student and faculty scholars will be paired with research mentors to engage in cancer disparities research. The overall goal is to develop long-term career trajectories in cancer disparities research. C-REP will conduct annual tracking to obtain career development updates from prior C-REP participants. Evidence of student success will be determined by tracking enrollment in a biomedical, health sciences, or public health graduate program; further participation in mentored cancer research; and publication of a substantive mentored cancer research project or application for a cancer focused training grant as the F31 and F99/K00 awards. Evidence of faculty success will be determined by the observed career trajectory leading toward ongoing mentored or independent research such as a strong publication record, conference presentations, pilot project research, mentored career development awards, or independent investigator awards.
The purpose of the Cancer Research Education Program is to provide training and education, professional development, and course development to prepare students and researchers for leadership roles in cancer disparities research. Courses will be developed and provided to two different groups, students and research investigators, in complementary ways of instruction. Each group will learn about the differences in cancer and how they impact communities, and they will be able to practice what they learn by participating in cancer research.