Stony Brook University Inducer Lab

Stony Brook University Inducer Lab


Cancer is greater in certain populations than in
others. Specifically, African Americans have a higher
incident rate of cancer than any other racial and ethnic group. There are a number of different factors that
are associated with racial health disparity. Socio-economic status being one. However, we have shown that when you correct for socio-economic status, as well as access to healthcare, racial health disparity still persists. Why is this the case? It’s actually unknown. We believe there are inherent differences
at the genetic level. These genes are called tumor suppressor genes
or tumor promoting genes. Tumor promoting genes are turned on and tumor
suppressor genes are turned off. What we are looking at are, what are these
factors affecting the turning on and turning off of these genes? And if these differences are different in African
Americans. The INDUCER program is Increasing Diversity
in Undergraduate Cancer Education and Research. It’s funded through NIH NCI, National Cancer
Institute. They provide the funding, so that we can increase
diversity in the work force. Specifically, in the health field. INDUCER is different in that individuals who
are in INDUCER have to do research in cancer and they have to have a focus
in racial health disparity. In order to have diverse ideas, diverse research
choices, we need to have a diverse work force. INDUCER is going to be that pipeline to increase
that work force. The end result will be studies that are looking
at all populations. This is work that is going to be inclusive,
and not exclusive. Every racial group, every ethnic group with
the idea of doing personalized medicine, not only for one race or ethnic group, but for
anyone who walks into a clinic with cancer. My long term hope for the program is that
we produce fabulous physician-scientists, as well as fabulous researchers who are doing work
that is inclusive of all ethnic and racial groups. I have some phenomenal students. With the group of individuals I have working
in the INDUCER program right now, I’m very optimistic about our future.

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