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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention
 

Inaugural Intramural Health Disparities Workshop

, by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

A map of Maryland showing different Census tracts and how socioeconomic risk factors for cancer differ based on neighborhood/location.

The map shows different Census tracts and how socioeconomic risk factors for cancer differ based on neighborhood/location.

Credit: Allen Kane

In May 2022, researchers from the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Health Disparity Steering Committee, DCEG Cancer Health Disparities Working Group, and Fellows Cancer Health Disparities Interest Group co-organized the inaugural NCI CCR-DCEG Health Disparity Workshop, with over 200 participants from intramural and extramural scientific groups. In advance of the meeting, workshop organizers invited registrants who conduct research as part of the NCI intramural research program to complete a survey about their understanding of and involvement with health disparity research. Responses identified barriers and opportunities to expand cancer disparities research within NCI’s intramural research program; these topics were discussed at the meeting.

Over the course of two days, experts from DCEG and CCR discussed expectations of health disparity research, identified research resources, highlighted opportunities for collaborations, and outlined future directions. See the workshop agenda

Invited speakers included Dr. Monica Webb Hooper, Deputy Director at the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), who talked about the importance of the language we use to describe health disparities research and discussed the importance of studies on upstream determinants of health and life expectancy (see NIMHD Research Framework).  

Zoom slide image showing a definition of health disparities

Dr. Hooper presents the definition of health disparities. 

Several investigators and fellows from DCEG and CCR presented their research projects, challenges, and opportunities. The workshop ended with a roundtable discussion focused on barriers to research.