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Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series

This seminar series features talks by researchers and cancer control experts working in global oncology. The seminars provide opportunities for discussion and collaboration around impactful and innovative work that addresses cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide.    

Upcoming Seminars

 

Technologies to Improve Early Cancer Detection in Low Resource Settings:  From Idea to Field Evaluation

Friday, December 9, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. ET
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Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum in the lab photo

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D. is the Rice University Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Bioengineering, the Director of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health, and serves as the special advisor to the Provost on health-related research and educational initiatives. Her research has been instrumental in improving early detection of cancers and other diseases, especially in low-resources settings. She is currently working with colleagues and undergraduate students to develop a Nursery of the Future to provide technologies necessary to reduce neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa to rates equivalent to the United States.

Richards-Kortum’s research has led to the development of 40 patents. She is author of the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health (Cambridge University Press, 2010), more than 230 refereed research papers and 11 book chapters. Her teaching programs, research and collaborations have been supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (with more NIH grants than any other Rice professor), National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, and the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation.

She is a member of numerous academic associations including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, she has the rare distinction of dual membership in the National Academies. In 2016, The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) presented its highest honor, the Pierre Galletti Award to Dr. Richards-Kortum.

In 2008, she was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and subsequently received a grant for the undergraduate global health program at Rice. This program won the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction from Science magazine and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.

In this talk, Dr. Richards-Kortum will describe lessons learned developing molecular and imaging based technologies to improve the early detection of epithelial cancers in low-resource settings and recommendations for how to accelerate the translation of novel technologies to achieve global impact. 
 

 

Past Seminars

 

Palliative Care Research in India

Thursday, November 10, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. 

Photo of Dr. M.R. Rajagopal

M.R. Rajagopal, M.D.

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal is the Director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Science, WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum, and Founder/Chairman of Pallium India. His initiatives to remove regulatory barriers to the availability of oral morphine for pain relief have contributed to the simplification of narcotic regulations and the amendment of the NDPS Act of India in 2014. His initiative has also contributed to the development of a government policy on palliative care in the state of Kerala in 2008 and the Government of India's National Palliative Care Strategy in 2012. 

In 2017, a documentary film titled "Hippocratic: 18 experiments in gently shaking the world" based on Dr. Rajagopal’s contributions to palliative care was released by Moonshine Agency, Australia.

Dr. Rajagopal’s honors include:

  • the Padma Shri, the third highest civilian award given annually by the Republic of India
  • the Alison Des Forges award by the “Human Rights Watch”
  • named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2017

Most recently, Dr. Rajagopal published his memoir, “Walk with the Weary,” describing his palliative care journey in 2022. 

 

 

Cervical Cancer Research and Control Efforts in South Africa

Thursday, October 6, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. 

 

Headshot photo of Dr. Lynette Denny

Lynette Denny, M.D., Ph.D.

Lynette Denny, MBChB, MMED (O&G), FCOG (SA), PhD, FRCOG (Ad Eud), Grand Councellor of Baobab (silver) is a gynecologic oncologist working in the field of cervical cancer prevention in collaboration with colleagues from Columbia University, New York since 1995. Dr. Denny began her collaboration with the intention of evaluating alternative strategies for the prevention of cervical cancer in low-resource settings. Cervical cancer was and remains the commonest cancer diagnosed among women living in poor countries due to the failure to either initiate or sustain cytology-based screening programs. Her group pioneered the search for alternative protocols for the prevention of cervical cancer in community-based research sites in townships just outside of Cape Town. Since that time, she has had extensive research experience in cervical cancer prevention, including three cross-sectional studies comparing different screening tests (such as HPV testing and VIA to cytology), a prophylactic HPV vaccine trial in HIV-positive women, and a therapeutic vaccine trial in HPV-negative women. She is currently engaged in an NCI-funded trial evaluating screen and treat with the HPV Xpert Cepheid HPV test and has added evaluation of Automated Visual Evaluation of the cervix in addition to point of care HPV testing in a screen and treat approach. Dr. Denny was appointed the director of the South Africa (SA) Medical Research Council Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, with 5 years of guaranteed funding. Her team is now in the next phase of the development of the Centre and has another 3 years of funding. She became head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in 2013 and handed over the leadership of the Gynaecological Cancer Unit to Dr. Nomonde Mbatani who was second in charge. Dr. Denny's tenure as Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cape Town, ended April 2022 and she is now a Professor, Special Projects, Department of O&G, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT. In November she was awarded the Order of the Baobab by the President of SA for ‘distinguished service’ to her country. She was a participant in the WHO Clinical Guidelines Group designed to produce recommendations for secondary prevention of cervical cancer and the use of HPV DNA/HPV mRNA testing as a primary screening test.

 

 

Models of Care and Implementation of Geriatric Oncology Care in Resource-Limited Settings

Thursday, September 8, 2022 |10:00 a.m.

photo of Enrique Soto

Enrique Soto Pérez de Celis M.D., Ph.D., FASCO

Enrique Soto Perez de Celis M.D., Ph.D., FASCO, is a researcher in medical science at the Department of Geriatrics of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (INCMNSZ) in Mexico City. There he leads the Cancer Care in the Elderly Clinic, the first multidisciplinary Geriatric Oncology clinic in Mexico. Dr. Soto is a past recipient of the Young Investigator Award (YIA) from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the CCF in 2015, and an ASCO Career Development Award (CDA) in 2019. He serves as the national representative of Mexico for the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) and is a member of the ASCO Board of Directors for the 2020-2025 period.

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming Global Access to Cancer Diagnostics: Report of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics

Thursday, June 9, 2022 |10:00 a.m. 

 

headshot image of Dr. Susan Horton of Waterloo University

Susan Horton PhD Professor Emeritus, Global Health Economics University of Waterloo, Canada

Susan Horton, Ph.D. is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has held faculty appointments at the University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo in the area of global health economics. Her earlier work on the economics of nutrition is well known, and currently, she is focusing on non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, particularly on cancer and diagnostics. She is co-Deputy Chair of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics, which was published in October 2021. Her work on cancer includes several articles on the cost-effectiveness of childhood cancer treatment in various low- and middle-income countries, co-editing the volume on cancer in the Disease Control Priorities series, and a recent paper on the cost-effectiveness of multi-cancer early detection published in Cancer Volume 128 Supplement, 2022. Dr. Horton has worked in more than twenty low- and middle-income countries including Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana, and consulted for over a dozen UN organizations, international development banks, and international research organizations. According to Google Scholar, there have been more than 20,000 citations of her work to date.

headshot image of Dr. Shahin Sayed of the Aga Khan University

Shahin Sayed, MMed, FCPath-ECSA, FRCPath, (UK) Chair & Director Laboratory Medicine Associate Professor & Consultant Pathologist Department of Pathology Aga Khan University

Shahin Sayed, MMed, FCPath-ECSA, FRCPath, is an Associate Professor & Consultant in anatomical pathology and cytology, in the Department of Pathology, Medical College, and the current Chair and Laboratory Director of Pathology at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Sayed graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree. She holds a Master of Medicine in general pathology from the University of Nairobi where she was awarded the best student in pathology prize. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the College of Pathologists of East Central and Southern Africa. Dr. Sayed is also the Secretary-General of the College of Pathologists of East Central and Southern Africa, Chair of the Academic Committee of the Senate - East Central and Southern African (ECSA) College of Health Sciences, Chair of the Board of Directors of African Strategies for Advancing Pathology (ASAP), and co-chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Diagnostics for the Cancer Control Programme – Ministry of Health, Kenya (MoH). She serves as a steering committee member and Commissioner for the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics and a member of the Lancet Oncology Commission for Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also been a recent member of the WHO-SAGE IVD Committee (2019-2020). Dr. Sayed is a member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). 

Dr. Sayed is in charge of the breast service at AKUHN. Her research interest spans onco-pathology with a special focus in breast cancer and solid haematolymphoid malignancies. She has recently been appointed as a standing member of the WHO Classification of Tumours Editorial Board. She has several grants and peer-reviewed publications in her area of research interest. She has also led research initiatives and interventions that have developed a sustainable model of community-based engagement to improve breast cancer screening and diagnosis.

 

Every Child, Everywhere: A Global Movement for Childhood Cancer

Thursday, May 12, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. ET


Every Child, Everywhere: A Global Movement for Childhood Cancer

Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D., serves as director of St. Jude Global and chair of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine. He is also an executive vice president and holds the Four Stars of Chicago Endowed Chair in International Pediatric Research. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo is leading an effort by St. Jude to ensure childhood cancer patients have access to quality care no matter where they live. 

A native of Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo first came to St. Jude in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow. He went on to serve as a clinical researcher and faculty member for more than a decade before accepting a position in Boston. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, he was director of the Pediatric Solid Tumor Program, medical director of the Clinical and Translational Investigations Program, and director of the Global Health Initiative in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders. He also served as professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

In 2015, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo returned to Memphis to lead a new Department of Global Pediatric Medicine and a new initiative, St. Jude Global. At that time, St. Jude had 24 partner sites in 17 countries and addressed 2.4% of the global childhood cancer burden. Under Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo’s leadership, the program aims to expand St. Jude’s reach to 30% in the next decade and to develop intervention models to ensure access to quality care for all children with cancer in the world. At present, the St. Jude Global Alliance includes more than 170 institutions from more than 60 countries. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo led an institutional effort to become the first World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Childhood Cancer. As part of this partnership, the World Health Organization and St. Jude are collaborating with other organizations on the Global Initiative in Childhood Cancer. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo’s areas of clinical research and expertise include retinoblastoma, sarcomas, rare cancers, and histiocytic disorders. He has served as chair of the Rare Tumor Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group and the president of the Histiocyte Society and has been the principal investigator of several institutional, national, and international trials. Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo earned his medical degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

 

Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya

Thursday, April 14, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. ET
 

Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya

Professor Nelly Mugo is a reproductive health specialist with over 27 years of clinical experience and two decades in clinical research. She is actively engaged in clinical trial research, with a focus on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research. Dr. Mugo has worked on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research for over two decades. Dr. Mugo is the principal investigator on a five-year NIH-funded grant: Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya. She was an investigator for the Partners PrEP studies, which informed the change in indication for Truvada as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. At the Kenyatta National Hospital, she provided clinical services and trained specialists on clinical techniques for the management of cervical intraepithelial lesions for over 12 years. Dr. Mugo has conducted observational HPV studies among sex workers in Kenya, evaluation of cervical cancer screening and treatment interventions among HIV-infected women, HPV vaccine trials among adolescents, and is currently a principal investigator in a study in Kenya evaluating "single-dose HPV vaccine" KENSHE. Dr. Mugo leads a clinical trial unit, PHRD-CCR-KEMRI, in Thika, Kenya. She holds a dual position as an associate research professor at the Department of Global Health, University of Washington, and is a senior principal clinical research scientist at the Center for Clinical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute.

 

Financial Toxicity Following Cancer in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. ET


Financial Toxicity Following Cancer in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Dr. Nirmala Bhoo Pathy works as an associate professor of epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, and practices as a public health physician at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. She is also a visiting scholar at Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom since 2014. Dr. Bhoo Pathy’s career is focused on optimizing life after cancer in resource-limited settings through research and advocacy. She is particularly interested in the state of cancer control in low- and middle-income countries and enhancing treatment outcomes and patient-centered outcomes in these settings.

Notably, Dr. Bhoo Pathy was the principal investigator of phase 3 of the Asean CosTs In ONcology (ACTION) study, comprising close to 10,000 cancer patients from eight low- and middle-income member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations. The study has been crucial in providing country-specific evidence for Southeast Asian nations to prioritize policies and develop local solutions to reduce the financial loss and premature deaths associated with cancer.

Dr. Bhoo Pathy currently serves on two Lancet Commissions, namely the Lancet Commission on Women and Cancer, and the Lancet Commission on Cancer and Health Systems. Besides her involvement in these commissions, she is a member of the COVID-19 and Cancer Taskforce, a globally representative group of cancer leaders who are gravely concerned that decisions made under the duress of the pandemic will have momentous consequences for cancer mortality for years to come.

The Challenge of Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mexico

Thursday, January 13, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. ET

The Challenge of Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mexico

Dr. Karla Unger-Saldaña is a Mexican National Council of Science and Technology researcher working at the National Cancer Institute of Mexico in Mexico City since 2014. She is also currently a remote fellow in International Health (2020–2022) at the Takemi Program, Harvard School of Public Health. After her postgraduate studies in Health Systems, she worked for five years with a local nongovernmental organization where she designed and operated programs to promote breast cancer awareness and facilitate access to screening in highly marginalized settings across Mexico. Her research has focused on understanding late diagnosis and delayed access to treatment of breast cancer in Mexico, where the majority of cases start treatment in advanced stages. Her findings suggest that the largest proportion of delay is not due to the patients’ postponement of seeking care but to quality problems and access barriers that hinder the diagnostic and referral processes after the patient’s first contact with medical services.

Advancing Tobacco Use Treatment in Viet Nam: Health Systems and Population-Based Research

November 2nd, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. ET

Advancing Tobacco Use Treatment in Viet Nam: Health Systems and Population-Based Research

Drs. Donna Shelley and Nam Nguyen will present a community health center study and findings from an R21 grant award that developed a text messaging program. 

Dr. Donna Shelley is a professor of public health policy and management, vice chair for research, and director of the Global Center for Implementation Science in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management at the New York University School of Global Public Health. She is also colead of the Epidemiology and Cancer Control Program for the New York University Perlmutter Cancer Center. Dr. Shelley has built a program of translational, population-based, and policy-relevant research that aims to optimize dissemination, implementation, and scale-up of tobacco use treatment in safety-net health care delivery systems in the United States and Viet Nam. She applies implementation research methods to study the influence of organizational and individual-level factors on implementation of evidence-based tobacco policies and practices and tests strategies for addressing barriers to implementation in a wide range of settings, including health care systems, communities, and public housing. Dr. Shelley received her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Nam Nguyen is the founder and director of the Institute of Social and Medical Studies, a research institute based in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, with expertise in conducting public health research to provide evidence to inform developing, planning, and implementing strategies, policies, and programs to advance public health in Viet Nam. Dr. Nguyen received his medical degree from Hanoi Medical University and his Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Nguyen’s research interests include, but are not limited to HIV/AIDs, sexual and reproductive health, gender and sexuality, communicable diseases, noncommunicable disease, and tobacco cessation. He has served as principal or co-investigator for more than 35 large-scale quantitative and qualitative studies employing a broad spectrum of research methodologies and with funding from a wide range of donors such as Atlantic Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FHI360, International Food Policy Research Institute, Population Council, PATH, the World Bank, USAID/PEPFAR, and the National Institutes of Health.

Introduction of HPV Testing and HPV Self-Collection in Argentina: Results From the Evidence

September 14th, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. ET

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series - Introduction of HPV Testing and HPV Self-Collection in Argentina: Results From the Evidence

Silvina Arrossi, M.Sc., Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research and at the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad, Argentina. From 2008–2018 she served as the scientific coordinator of the National Program on Cervical Cancer Prevention, Argentina, and since 2019 as a member of its Scientific Committee. Dr. Arrossi is the principal investigator of several national and international research projects aimed at improving the prevention of cervical cancer. Currently, she serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization in the area of cancer control program organization and management. In addition, she serves as a member of the American Association for Cancer Research Regional Advisory Board for Latin America and of the “Initiative for a global data repository on Cancer Screening in 5 Continents (CanScreen5)” Advisory Board led by IARC-WHO. Dr. Arrossi also serves as an adviser of ministries of health of several Latin American countries.

Dr. Arrossi's main areas of research include the organization of cancer prevention and control programs, the analysis of social inequalities in access to health services, and the social and economic cost of cancer. Her publications include papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and programmatic materials.

The National Cancer Grid, India: Eliminating Disparities in Cancer Care 

July 13th, 2021| 9:00 a.m. ET

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series - The National Cancer Grid, India

Dr. C. S. Pramesh is the director of the Tata Memorial Hospital and the professor and head of thoracic surgery at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Union for International Cancer Control. He is the convener for the National Cancer Grid, a large network of 244 cancer centers in India. The mandate of the National Cancer Grid is to provide uniform standards of cancer care across the country. Dr. Pramesh is highly committed to efforts towards reducing inequities in cancer care and making cancer treatment accessible to all geographic regions and strata of society. He is also a visiting professor at the Division of Cancer Studies, King’s College London and the Institute of Cancer Policy, King’s Health Partners, London.

His clinical interests include the management of esophageal and lung cancers and minimally invasive surgery. He is the principal investigator in several investigator-initiated research studies including randomized trials on cancer screening, surgical techniques, neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment of thoracic cancers. His broader research interests include cancer policy, health equity, value-based care, and health services research. He has more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters on various topics including thoracic oncology, clinical research methods, translational research, health equity, and cancer policy.

Professor Pramesh has strong interests in clinical trial designs, surgical trials, comparative effectiveness research, promoting collaborative research, and cancer policy. He has completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials offered by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. He is keen on promoting training in clinical research methods and conducts several courses on clinical research methodology, biostatistics, and scientific writing. He serves on the advisory boards of several national and international research organizations and granting agencies.

Breast Cancer Survival in Sub-Saharan Africa

May 4th, 2021| 9:00 a.m. ET

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series – Breast Cancer Survival in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Valerie McCormack and Mr. Steady Chasimpha are epidemiologists based at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine respectively. Their research is focused mostly on cancer epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa, including on cancers contributing to excessive premature mortality in the region. This work includes contextual studies of the reasons—biological, societal, and health systems—for low breast cancer survival as well as etiological research on esophageal cancer.

The African Breast Cancer Disparities in Outcomes study is a breast cancer cohort initiated in 2014 across 5 sub-Saharan African countries and has quantified the factors that need to be tackled to avoid breast cancers. The study also provides unique information on quality of life and the intergenerational impact of cancer deaths.

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