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CRCHD Black History Month Video Campaign - Transcripts

Transcripts for each Capsule video within the CRCHD Black History Month Video Campaign may be found below.

Gregory Adams

I knew that cancer research is what I wanted to do at an early age when I was 10 years old. My paternal grandfather died from lung cancer. As a young African American man, I always looked up to the paternal figures in my life. My father, uncles and grandfathers. I spent a lot of time with this particular grandfather, learning how to work hard to earn money and to survive. We would do landscaping, building maintenance and even work on cars. When he passed, I was focused on going to school thanks to my uncle, who also encouraged me to pursue medicine and a career in cancer research so that no other young person will experience a life without their grandparents. My journey to become the health science administrator in the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, CRCHD, at the National Cancer Institute is full of cancer research focused in areas from mitochondrial DNA variations in early and late stages of colorectal cancer to epithelial growth factor, EGF, stimulated cancer cell plasticity and non-adhesive confined environments.

Dennis Adeegbe

I'm Dennis Adeegbe. I'm a cancer immunologist at the Mayo Clinic Arizona. Cancer affects all races and does not discriminate, although there is increasing evidence that certain minority and racial groups are disproportionately affected. And this is one of the reasons why it's important that we diversify our cancer training initiatives and workforce so that we can produce scientists and researchers that can relate to these communities and champion research efforts to reduce cancer health disparities. Another reason why I think it's important that we diversify our research training workforce is so that we can produce future scientists and researchers who represent the composition of our patient population for whom we conduct cancer research.

Adebola Adegboyega

It's important to diversify cancer training, the workforce, and cancer research to ensure the inclusion of different and diverse viewpoints, enhance innovation, originality, and creativity. Having diverse representation in cancer training and workforce will help bring individuals that have lived experiences and understanding necessary to identify and address cancer disparities. I champion diversity by mentoring racial and ethnic minority and underserved students. I increase and encourage participation of minority and underserved individuals in my research.

Adoja Anyane-Yeboa

One of the challenges that I faced early on in my career was individuals telling me that a career in medicine and new research was not for me. And so to me it's really critically important to diversify the workforce and to diversify cancer training so that diverse individuals who come after us see role models in these positions and so that they too see themselves one day with a career in medicine or in cancer research. And so I champion this work by mentoring trainees, lifting them up, building their confidence, and really empowering them to allow their own light to shine because they are the future of our field.

Zinzi Bailey

Historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups must be represented in our cancer training, workforce, and research initiatives because we have unique insight into what kind of research, what kind of programming, is necessary, what kind of programming is needed, insight that privilege and disconnection from communities can obscure. However diversity and representation is not enough. We must put our attention, our sustained commitment, money, attention behind the study of racism and its impacts on cancer health disparities. Right now, a lot of journals have been addressing the effects of structural racism and its relationship to cancer primarily through editorials and commentaries, not primary research. There has to be alignment between funding agencies, journal editors, and reviewers in the validity of investigating effects of structural racism and social determinants of health inequities and cancer.

Francine Baker

One person in my life that I can say has contributed to my career trajectory is my friend Cheraldine McPherson, or Cherry. I remember one day we were having brunch. I was a stay at home mom at the time and my kids were in school. I told Cherry I began taking classes at Montgomery College just for the sole purpose of having adult conversation. Cherry looked me dead in the eye and said, uh-uh, we're not doing that. You need to get a degree. And the rest as they say is history. 11 years later, I'm about to embark upon my fourth degree as a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. Had it not been for Cherry, I may have settled for an associate's degree. Maybe eventually I would have earned my bachelor's, but with no real plan other than having adult conversation. I am forever grateful to my friend Cherry for seeing more for my future than I ever did.

Ramon Barajas

Improving diversity and cancer training in the medical workforce is crucial to ensuring that we continue to make progress in saving patients' lives. Losing family members to cancer has been a transformative experience for me and it has fueled my passion for making a meaningful impact in cancer research. The NIH's initiatives aimed at reducing disparities have been instrumental in moving my cancer research forward. As someone who hails from an underserved community, I faced a lack of access to social networks, but I was able to overcome these obstacles by taking full advantage of programs designed to support underrepresented minorities. I am especially grateful to Dr. Soonmee Cha and Edward Neuwelt, whose contributions have been instrumental in shaping my research career as a physician scientist. These experiences have taught me a great deal and I am now committed to mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds myself. I hope that this will lead to more diversity in the healthcare workforce and ultimately in improving the lives of individuals battling cancer. Thank you.

Ewan Cobran

Hi, good afternoon. I'm Ewan Cobran. I am a pharmacoepidemiologist and a career scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Paul Godley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, made a significant contribution to my research career as an underrepresented minority in cancer research. Paul opened so many doors for my academic career. I would not be at the Mayo Clinic today if it wasn't for the contribution that Paul has poured into my life. Paul has opened so many doors to make sure that I had the clinical and or the research training. I would say more so the research training. He exposed me to clinical skills as it relates to looking at prostate cancer outcomes in SEER-Medicare data. And so Paul is no longer here. He passed away several years ago, but you know, I remember multiple one- on-one meetings with Paul. We would talk about research but not only that, but he would empower me to think about making sure that I had a very good work-life balance and that I was spending time with my loved ones. And so on this Black History or in this Black History Month season, I just want to take this time to recognize Paul Godley for the contributions that he made to prostate cancer disparity research but also to my academic career. So thank you Paul.

Jennifer Cunningham-Erves

Racial health disparities and inequities for cancer are pervasive and evidence show they still continue to exist. Multilevel approaches are necessary to combat this issue with emphasis on system-wide change. For example, taking action against social determinants of health requires a diverse workforce in healthcare and research. This allows the healthcare system and academic institutions to be better equipped to respond to the cultural values and practices of our communities. I personally champion this work, research, teaching, and service. In research, I mentor and train medical and graduate students on my NCI K01 award, which seeks to identify strategies to increase HPV vaccine uptake among adolescents. In the classroom, I build knowledge, skill sets, and even serve as a linkage to other research and healthcare opportunities for our next generation. Last, in service, I partner with community organizations and community members to advocate for and continue to provide training that advances our workforce. Workforce diversity is critical to achieving cancer health equity and I am happy to be a part of these efforts.

Martha Gay

Good day. My name is Dr. Martha Gay and I'm an assistant professor at Georgetown University. It is so important to be a part of these different healthcare conversations, especially when it comes to clinical trials. Not only do I do basic research, but I'm also a clinical trial coordinator in which I'm able to interject different approaches, different scientific approaches as well as community approaches, for us to be able to retain and maintain our patients when they actually come into our clinical trials. It feels good to be able to make that connection to our patients and to be able to tell colleagues that their approach that they're doing, they may need to modify in order to be able to get the best benefit out of it. And so being a researcher, you bring more to the table than your scientific acumen, you bring your culture to the table and that's something that is valuable across the spectrum of science.

Vida Henderson

The festering manifestations of racism permeate almost every aspect of our lives and it negatively impacts all of us. My job as a cancer disparities researcher is to develop programs and interventions that try to dismantle the factors that contribute to cancer inequities. My job as a cancer disparities researcher is to not only ask what works, but to also ask who doesn't this work for? Innovation and inclusion result from a diversity of experiences and backgrounds. We have to increase diversity in cancer training, increase the number of federally funded investigators from minoritized groups, and support cancer disparities research to make sure that cancer treatments and early detection health services work for all of us.

Patricia Jones

There are so many reasons that it's important to diversify cancer training and the workforce to represent underserved and underrepresented groups. Number one, there is no substitute for the lived experience of persons who come from such underserved and underrepresented groups. My approach to understanding the determinants of disparities in cancer is uniquely informed by the perspective I've gained navigating this world and the field of medicine as a Black woman. I'm able to conceive of innovative approaches based on my unique perspective. Furthermore, patients and participants from underserved and underrepresented groups need to see researchers who look like them, especially when discussing research that is specifically targeted to improve outcomes in our community. I champion that work by serving as a role model and a mentor to a wide variety of students, undergrads, medical students, public health students, residents, and fellows. And I also encourage research assistants that I hire to seek higher training and research methods by taking advantage of tuition remission programs. By these efforts, I'm doing my part to help diversify the workforce.

Tarsha Jones (Video 1)

Hi everyone. I am Tarsha Jones. Happy Black History Month. I would like to talk to you about the importance of diversity in the biomedical workforce and why cancer disparities research is so critically important. I live in the state of Florida, which has a very diverse racial and ethnic population, with half of our state's residents being racial and ethnic minorities. Nearly 30% of our population identify as Hispanic Latina from countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, just to name a few countries. And we have a large Spanish-speaking population. We also have nearly 17% of our population who are Blacks or African Americans. Many are immigrants from the Caribbean, from countries such as Haiti where they primarily speak French creole and from Jamaica where I was born. We also have a very large Jewish population and a growing Asian population. We just cannot ignore diversity. America is a melting pot and we have to be tolerant of differences in people's unique cultural identities and worldviews.

Tarsha Jones (Video 2)

Hi everyone. I'm Tarsha Jones. Healthy People 2030, our nation's health promotion plan, has an overarching goal to achieve health equity and to eliminate health disparities. As a Black woman and a nurse scientist, I am very grateful to NCI to have a prestigious K01 award to promote diversity. I consider myself to be a champion for health equity and to be able to advocate for vulnerable, underserved, and underrepresented populations. In my own work, I am tackling breast cancer health disparities among young breast cancer survivors, particularly Black and Hispanic Latina women who suffer disproportionately from breast cancer.

Dan Liefwalker

Hi, I'm Dan Liefwalker, a research assistant professor at OHSU in Portland. I think it's important to create opportunities for historically marginalized and underrepresented groups in research because more diverse groups are better equipped to meet the scientific challenges of today. Our experiences shape our perception of the world. Therefore, more diverse experiences lead to more robust cognitive diversity and problem-solving skillsets. This in turn creates a greater scientific reach to solve complex problems such as cancer.

Sylvia Long

Some challenges that I have been able to overcome throughout my professional experience include being misused, being overlooked for specific opportunities, even being disrespected. And those things happen, not just because I was the youngest or because I was a woman, but also because I was a Black minority within that particular group, team, or organization. And even though those situations were hurtful and even disheartening and discouraging at times, they have positively shaped my career because it gave me the boldness and the tenacity to continue to go after every opportunity, work hard and always put my best foot forward.

Diane Mahoney

Unfortunately in the United States, cancer disparities are prevalent among African American communities across many different types of cancers. This is why it is so important to diversify cancer training and research efforts to increase opportunities for Black scientists like me, as well as scientists from other underrepresented groups. My research focuses on discovery and development of screening tests to detect ovarian cancer early. I'm also particularly interested in factors that contribute to higher ovarian cancer death rates in Black women so that I can lead initiatives to implement prevention strategies. Thanks to the support of the National Cancer Institute Diversity Supplement, which has opened many doors for me and enhanced my career path to become part of a diverse and collaborative research team to tackle cancer disparities. Thanks for taking the time to watch this video.

Valdeoso Patterson Jr.

Hi, my name is Valdeoso Patterson and I'm a clinical research coordinator at Nationwide Children's Hospital. I think it's important to diversify cancer training, the workforce, and cancer disparities research initiatives to represent underserved and underrepresented groups because the population we serve consists of many people who are part of these groups. In regards to research, our nation has a history of wrongdoings towards underserved populations and because of that, many people from these communities are hesitant to be involved in research projects. As a result, we're left with a limitation in our findings due to not being able to recruit a diverse enough sample and take racial or ethnic factors into consideration. According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans have the highest death rate of any racial group in the United States for most cancers. It is necessary that research institutes recruit more Black patients for their studies to find solutions that can lower these rates. However, that will not happen unless everyone is educated on the issues that prevent Black people and other minority groups from partaking in research. I aspire to become a pediatrician as well as a principal investigator. Through my practice, I want to provide accessible and equitable care to every patient no matter their socioeconomic status and through my research, I plan to focus on improving health outcomes for people living in underserved communities. I believe that by accomplishing these two goals, I'll be able to reduce the disparities that we see today in cancer treatment and research.

Vaughn Rogers

At seven years old, the seed of a career in cancer research was planted. My dad, who was working on bevacizumab, introduced me to the disease glioblastoma, a terrible type of brain tumor. I was shocked to learn that nobody survives this diagnosis. Since then, in 2008, still nothing appreciable has changed for the prognosis. So I've decided to dedicate my life to finding a treatment. Due to scientists' hard work, my grandparents have survived other cancer types. On the other hand, glioblastoma patients do not get the benefit of a cure. That must change. As a CURE scholar, I have been supported in my study of the molecular and immune environment of glioblastoma for the past two years as an undergraduate and I look forward to continuing as a graduate and an M.D. Ph.D. student. My dream is for everybody to have the opportunity to live a long, healthy life and not be told that there is no treatment available for their disease.

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