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Cancer Disparities

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DF/HCC-UMass Boston Partnership

DF/HCC - UMass Boston Partnership

Conceptualized in 2003 and funded in 2005 by the National Institute of Health, the mission of the UMass Boston-DF/HCC Comprehensive Cancer Partnership Program is to address health disparities in minority populations and to improve research, training, and outreach initiatives for minority students, fellows, nurses, and scientists. In 2010, UMass Boston and DF/HCC successful competed and received the next level of National Cancer Institute funding (U54) to further enhance the Partnership. Through research programs in the areas of basic science, population science, student and investigator training, and community outreach, the Partnership aims to address the rate of cancer occurrence in underserved populations and to develop information and resources toward closing the cancer health disparities gap.
The primary goals of the UMass Boston-DF/HCC Partnership (U54) are:

  • Continued development of rigorous, collaborative cancer and disparities related research, through research projects and pilots, and the Survey and Statistical Methods Core;
  • Contribute to the development of a robust and sustainable cancer research program at UMass Boston;
  • Expansion of the cancer training program, through the Training Core and research projects;
  • Development of a robust cancer outreach program that includes research and community engagement activities which will expand and strengthen existing relationships for both activities;
  • Development of a vibrant Partnership that attracts significant interest among existing faculty and potential faculty hires at both institutions;
  • Career development of less-experienced faculty to build strong externally funded research programs.

Partner Institutions

University of Massachusetts at Boston (UMB) is the most diverse public four-year higher education institution in New England. Approximately 39% of its nearly 14,000 students are members of racial and ethnic minorities. As an urban university, it is vitally engaged in Boston’s mosaic of communities. Of special importance to the DF/HCC - UMB Partnership are three UMB institutes, which focus on the needs of African-Americans (William Monroe Trotter Institute), Hispanics (Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy), and Asian-Americans (Institute for Asian American Studies). Additionally, the College of Public and Community Service works to enhance the quality of life for low-income and other inadequately served populations. UMB offers six pre-collegiate programs, annually serving 2,600 students from Boston Public Schools. Undergraduate students are assisted through the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Post–Baccalaureate Achievement Program, providing science-focused students with research experiences that promote the importance of attaining PhD degrees.

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that consolidates the efforts of seven Harvard-affiliated member institutions — each among the world’s most respected in biomedical research — into one collective force to defeat cancer. In addition to conducting basic and clinical research that crosses both institutional and scientific boundaries, DF/HCC is committed to maximizing the impact of its research to reduce the cancer burden in all populations and to eliminate disparities in cancer in minority and medically underserved groups.

U54 Principal Investigators

For more information on the DF/HCC - UMass Boston Partnership, please contact:

Karen Emmons, PhD
c/o Nancy Klockson
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
44 Binney St
Boston, MA 02115

Adan Colon-Carmona, PhD
c/o Lori-Anne Ramsay
University of Massachusetts, Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Wheatley Building 3rd Floor Rm 308
Boston, MA 02125-3393

Program Coordinator

Lori-Anne Ramsay

University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd
Wheatley Building 3rd Floor Rm 308
Boston, MA 02125-3393