Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, recently received a $1.5 million renewal grant to educate researchers to reduce cancer-related health disparities among underserved populations.

“We are happy to announce the renewal of the Cancer-Related Health Disparities Training Program as it will continue to prepare predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct cancer-related health disparities intervention research with underserved populations,” Okuyemi said. “The program will also enhance the diversity of the research workforce because we specifically intend to recruit trainees from underrepresented and underserved populations.”

 The specific goals of this grant are to:

  • Increase the number of predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees committed to intervention research to reduce cancer health disparities
  • Train three predoctoral trainees and three postdoctoral trainees each year
  • Enhance the diversity of the research workforce in cancer-related health disparities by committing to a program where at least half of trainees come from underserved backgrounds

These goals will be accomplished by gathering the extensive experience of University of Minnesota faculty and Minnesota community organizations that have a history of conducting collaborative research to reduce the cancer burden in underserved populations.

 Okuyemi will serve as the principal investigator and work with the following medical school and public health faculty:

  • Michele Allen, MD, MS, Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Rhonda Jones-Webb, DrPH, Epidemiology and Community Health
  • Kathleen Call, PhD, Health Policy and Management
  • Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, Department of Medicine

Lindsey Fabian, MPH, Epidemiology and Community Health, will serve as the project coordinator.

The grant is funded by the National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute.