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2021 Annual Fellows’ Symposium Focuses on Cancer Survivorship

, by DCEG Staff

Logo consists of ribbon-like figures forming a circle. Text reads: The Lifetime Impact of Cancer: Experiences in survivorship research, advocacy, and policy

In May 2021, the DCEG fellow community gathered virtually for the 13th Annual DCEG Fellows’ Symposium. The theme was “The Lifetime Impact of Cancer: Experiences in survivorship research, advocacy, and policy.”  

Patricia Erickson, M.P.H., predoctoral fellow in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB), opened the meeting with a warm introduction. Jessica Madrigal, Ph.D., M.S., postdoctoral fellow in OEEB, introduced Dr. Gregory Armstrong, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Dr. Armstrong gave a broad overview of the impact of childhood cancer and how cancer therapy impacts childhood cancer survivors into adulthood. Omonefe Omofuma, Ph.D., M.S., postdoctoral fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch (MEB), introduced Amy Berrington, D.Phil., Chief and senior investigator in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch (REB), who presented her research on adult cancer survivors and described training opportunities for fellows in DCEG. 

Former DCEG postdoctoral fellow Dr. Diana Merino Vega, AllStripes, a medical data science company, was introduced by Zeinab Farhat, Ph.D., M.P.H., postdoctoral fellow in MEB, and offered career advice while describing her personal story with cancer and her path from researcher to advocate in the world of cancer and health policy. To close the presentations, Francine S. Baker, B.S., postbaccalaureate fellow in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics, welcomed Ms. Kimberly Richardson, a cancer survivor who works at the University of Illinois Cancer Center. Ms. Richardson described her experience with cancer while sharing what she has learned as an advocate working with patients, researchers, policy makers, and physicians. 

The panel discussion, led by Zeni Wu, Ph.D., M.P.H., postdoctoral fellow in MEB, and Jacqueline B. Vo, Ph.D., R.N., M.P.H., postdoctoral fellow in REB, was an engaging discourse with the speakers. The panelists discussed how fellows could incorporate survivorship into their research and how to engage with survivors to ensure they are asking the most insightful research questions.

The Symposium Organizing Committee included Ms. Baker, Ms. Erickson, and Drs. Farhat, Madrigal, Omofuma, Wu, and Vo.

Images of the 2021 Fellows Symposium Organizing Committee

Francine Baker, Patricia Erickson, Zeinab Farhat, Jessica Madrigal, Omonefe Omofuma, Jacqueline Vo, and Zeni Wu

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