Global Cancer Conversations
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, which includes an explicit global mandate for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of a dedicated NCI Center for Global Health (CGH). These simultaneous anniversaries inspired us to create a new series called Global Cancer Conversations.
Global Cancer Conversations features informal, pre-recorded interview-style discussions between CGH Director, Dr. Satish Gopal, and key leaders in cancer research and control who have contributed to the global oncology field. The discussions provide opportunities for thoughtful dialogue concerning significant past events, the current state, and achievements in global cancer research and control. It is an opportunity to reflect on historical events to inform and inspire future efforts.
Episode 3 - Felicia Knaul, Ph.D.
Felicia Marie Knaul, PhD, is a member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, and Professor at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Dr. Knaul maintains a strong and synergistic global program of research and advocacy anchored in Mexico, where she is Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation. She is also the Founding President of Tómatelo a Pecho, A.C., a Mexico-based NGO that promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection of women’s health issues in Latin America. Dr. Knaul currently serves as Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Cancer And Health Systems and the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People. She lectures globally on the challenge of breast cancer in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), both as a patient-advocate and health systems researcher.
Learn more as she discusses links between her own cancer journey and her work as a global cancer advocate, researcher, and thought leader. Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., has played an important role in advocating for and achieving global cancer health equity throughout her career and has led Lancet commissions to draw attention to this topic. Throughout her career she been deeply engaged in these efforts, formerly at Harvard and currently at the University of Miami where she’s a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and directs the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas. Dr. Knaul is a Professor at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. She maintains a strong and synergistic global program of research and advocacy anchored in Mexico, where she is Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation. She is also the Founding President of Tómatelo a Pecho, A.C., a Mexico-based NGO that promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection of women’s health issues in Latin America. Dr. Knaul currently serves as co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Cancer and Health Systems and the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People. She lectures globally on the challenge of breast cancer in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), both as a patient-advocate and health systems researcher.
Episode 2 - Elisabete Weiderpass, MD, MSc, PhD
Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass serves as Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a dedicated U.N. agency whose mission is cancer research. IARC has been a long-standing and critical scientific partner to the NCI. Dr. Weiderpass has been involved in global cancer research in her scientific career long before becoming the IARC Director and talks to Dr. Satish Gopal about how her interest in global cancer first developed, being the first female IARC director, and IARC’s medium-term strategy for the next five years.
Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass, MD, MSc, PhD, is a Brazilian cancer researcher who is a naturalized Swedish and Finnish citizen. She is an expert in cancer epidemiology and cancer prevention. She took office as IARC Director on January 1, 2019. Dr. Weiderpass previously served as leader of the Department of Research at the Cancer Registry of Norway, and of the Genetic Epidemiology Group at the Folkhälsan Research Center in Finland. She was a Professor of Medical Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and a Professor of Cancer Epidemiology at the Arctic University of Norway. She also held Adjunct Professorship positions in Cancer Epidemiology in Brazil, China, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and was a Visiting Professor in Kuwait. She is the author of more than 700 scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals.
Episode 1 - Harold Varmus, M.D.
In 2011, Dr. Harold Varmus served as the NCI director and created the NCI Center for Global Health (CGH). While global health at NCI long predates the creation of CGH and even now is not confined to CGH, this was an opportunity to develop an intentional international program to improve cancer care and cancer research throughout the world. This new Center would allow NCI to play a major role in making a systematic approach to global cancer research and global cancer health. Watch now to hear more about the creation of the Center for Global Health and future opportunities.
Harold Varmus, M.D. is currently the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and a senior associate at the New York Genome Center. He previously was the Director of the National Institutes of Health (1993-1999), president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (2000 – 2010), and Director of the National Cancer Institute (2010 – 2015). In 1989, while on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, Varmus and J. M. Bishop won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their work on oncogenes. Varmus has also been awarded the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society. Varmus is a co-founder of the Public Library of Science and is closely involved with numerous global health organizations.