CGH Spotlight Blog
This blog features content and images to showcase the great work from the Center for Global Health.
- Reflections from a Year at the Center for Global Health
The Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Fellowship is a one-year fellowship, where a laboratory, a Center or a Division within the National Cancer Institute takes in a post baccalaureate trainee for a year. This trainee is typically someone who has completed their Bachelor’s degree and is ready to put their knowledge into useful action as they chart out their career and future education. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and serving for a year with AmeriCorps, I started my CRTA Fellowship in July 2015 at the Center for Global Health (CGH). Now as I wrap up my training, I am turning over my experiences from numerous projects and consolidating nuggets of experience and wisdom that will guide my way forward.
- Addressing a silent killer - The International Conference on Betel Quid and Areca Nut
After nearly a year of effort, The Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, in coordination with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research , The University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Oral Cancer Research Coordinating Center, University of Malaya, Taiwan Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, and with the generous support of the Malaysia Ministry of Health, hosted the International Conference on Betel Quid and Areca Nut in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on April 27-28, 2016.
The conference welcomed more than 130 participants from 21 countries. Our meeting aimed to address the major issue surrounding betel quid and areca nut use, and its associated cancers. More than 600 million, approximately 10% of the world’s population, use betel quid and areca nut. Widely unregulated, with its use steeped in culture and tradition, the use of betel quid and areca nut poses a significant and understudied health threat to the Asia-Pacific region where prevalence is high. Betel quid and areca nut use is a risk factor for oral, esophageal, and other associated cancers. Unlike many forms of smoked tobacco, is the two are widely used by women in regions where common. Betel quid and areca use extends beyond the Asia-Pacific region to diaspora and migrant communities in US, South Africa, and parts of Europe and the Middle East.
- Russian delegation visits NIH and NCI to discuss research collaboration
On June 1st, the NCI Center for Global Health hosted a delegation from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) to discuss ongoing and future collaborations in cancer research. The delegation was accompanied by representatives from the US Embassy in Moscow and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington DC. The day of meetings was productive and discussion was lively.
The delegation started their day with a visit with Dr. Louis Staudt at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, where they heard about the groundbreaking work in precision medicine focused on B-cell lymphomas taking place in his laboratory, and discussed the continuing revolution in next generation sequencing and the increasing importance of molecular diagnostics. From there, the delegation toured the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine, where they met with Dr. Eugene Koonin, who shared details on his ongoing work on comparative evolutionary genomics.
- NCI and the Chinese National Cancer Center pursue new collaborations in cancer research
The NCI Center for Global Health (CGH) has been working closely with the Chinese government, including the Chinese National Cancer Center (NCC), to strengthen cancer research in the U.S. and China.
CGH Director, Dr. Ted Trimble, and East Asia Program Director, Dr. Ann Chao, traveled to Beijing with Mr. Matthew Brown from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs to attend the Joint Meeting of the NCC and the U.S. NCI, held on April 22nd. This joint meeting occurs annually and alternates between the United States and China. This year the group discussed cooperation in the areas of colorectal cancer screening, microbiome research, and joint clinical research activities in immunotherapy.
- A short narrative - Challenges and opportunities in expanding research in the Middle East, North Africa Region
Born in Iran, raised in the United Arab Emirates, and educated in Boston, I have experienced very diverse cultures and global settings. I am grateful for the opportunity provided by Center for Global Health at the National Cancer Institute to explore ways to expand cancer research globally, particularly in the broader Middle East.
During my stay at NCI I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a variety of experts, including Dr. Marie Ricciardone who works with a network of partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. I recently asked her to draw on her experiences in the region for advice about the challenges and opportunities ahead as I advance my own career as a researcher in the MENA region.
- CGH observes National Women’s Health Week
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is observing the 17th annual National Women’s Health Week. The goal of the National Women's Health Week is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. The 17th annual National Women’s Health Week kicked off on Mother’s Day, May 8, and is celebrated through May 14, 2016.
In celebration, the NCI Center for Global Health held a seminar on the Knowledge Summaries for Comprehensive Breast Cancer Control: Pathways for Advanced Cancer Planning. The seminar was presented by Dr. Andre M. Ilbawi, the medical officer for Cancer Control, at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, and Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski, Senior Advisor for Women’s Cancers, Center for Global Health, NCI.
- Healthy Kids; Healthy World - Take Your Child to Work Day 2016
Take Your Child to Work Day had all of CGH saying “Healthy Kids; Healthy World!" CGH staff and K-5th grade students learned about healthy choices, linked together get well wishes, and even got in some hands-on time working around the globe.
On April 28th CGH joined several NCI offices at the Shady Grove campus to celebrate Take Your Child to Work Day 2016. Volunteers hosted three activity stations, each offering creative fun with a message: With healthy kids, we can create a healthier world.
- Bringing global cancer leaders together at the 4th Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research
With another passing year, we can celebrate yet another successful Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research. The event was developed with a special focus on innovative and low-cost technologies in global cancer control, and brought inspiring keynote speakers such as John Seffrin, Former CEO of the American Cancer Society, and Tom Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. John Seffrin shared insights on what it will take to bring cancer under control this century. Specifically, he highlighting the need for continued resources, collaboration and policy change to facilitate improved access to cancer care, effective prevention strategies, and conduct innovative research. Tom Bollyky carried this discussion forward by presenting poignant data on the growing burden of cancer globally, and made a strong case to increase investments in cancer control, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
The two panels that followed these keynotes highlighted the role of technology and data in improving cancer care all along the continuum of cancer care: from prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, through palliative care. Our panelists shared their successes and challenges of serving and researching in low-resource settings, discussed the role of molecular diagnostics, and reflected on effective therapies and approaches in cancer care. The poster session included demonstrations of low-cost technologies and innovations, highlighting the potential of innovative thinking, user-friendly designs, and technologies to save lives, even in low-resource settings. In the afternoon, we heard from four dedicated low- and middle-income country researchers who are actively conducting cancer control research in Myanmar, Tanzania, Guatemala, and Malawi.
- Strengthening relations with Latin American countries through health diplomacy
Addressing global challenges such as cancer control requires partnerships and diplomacy. Following that vision, Ambassador of Peru to the United States, Luis Miguel Castilla, visited the Center for Global Health (CGH) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) a year ago with the objective of strengthening collaboration between US NCI and the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas (INEN) of Peru and Ministry of Health of Peru. As part of this partnership, Ambassador Castilla convened a Roundtable dinner at the Peru Embassy to discuss “The need for creating and implementing comprehensive cancer control plans in the Latin America region” on April 5th. The aim of the Roundtable meeting was to discuss and determine how the Latin American Embassies in Washington DC working together with NCI could contribute to current efforts in cancer prevention and control in the region. Representatives of six Latin American countries attended the Roundtable hosted by the Peru Ambassador including the Ambassadors of Argentina, Mexico, and Chile, and Deputy Chief of Mission from Embassies of Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay. The group discussed ways of achieving more structured interactions between CGH and the Embassies’ staff and the role of Embassies as key facilitators of scientific and health cooperation. The importance of engaging partners from all sectors from government, civil society, academia to private sector in all aspects of cancer control planning and implementation was highlighted throughout the conversations. Leveraging the expats scientific community living in the US as a strategy to strengthen relations between countries was also mentioned. All of the roundtable’s participants agreed on the fact that science and health cooperation is a key tool to strengthen relationships among countries. This event builds on NCI's ongoing work to support country efforts to tackle cancer burden in the Latin America region such as the “Latin America Cancer Control Leadership Forum” that was held in Mexico on September 2015. The overall goal of the forum is to increase the capacity of countries to initiate or enhance cancer control planning and implementation through a multi-sectoral, evidence-based and regional approach.
One of the objectives of The Global Strategy of our Department of Health and Human Services is to advance health diplomacy. The increasing interconnectedness of our world requires that we at CGH, NCI engage in science diplomacy to fulfill our mission. Latin American countries and the US are coming together around a common interest through scientific collaboration: This collaborative regional approach around cancer control in the Americas is an important step towards the goal of improving cancer outcomes in the region.
- A Milestone in Cancer Research and Treatment in India
Tata Memorial Center (TMC) is among India’s leading institutions for cancer research and treatment.
Since the NCI Center for Global Health (CGH) was established in 2011, it has partnered with TMC in several activities. These include workshops in clinical trials research design, training in molecular epidemiology and biostatistics, a workshop in scientific communication, and training of journalists on cancer research in the media. CGH has also provided support to scientists from TMC to visit NCI and work with NCI intramural scientists on data analysis and manuscript preparation. Further, NCI CGH works closely with the Center for Epidemiology at TMC to plan and coordinate activities related to epidemiological research in India, as well as partner in activities involving cancer registries. These partnerships are a valuable opportunity for NCI and TMC to leverage their respective expertise and research planning ideas for the benefit of cancer control in India.