In the US, there are higher rates of cancers among several underserved and understudies pulpations (e.g. African Americans Hispanics, and Appalachian Whites) than in the general population of the Deep and Mid-South regions of the U.S. Moreover, these groups are underrepresented in cancer clinical trials, and, for these groups, the efficacy of currently used therapies is not known. Thus, there is a need for community-based studies that are focused on precision medicine, cancer prevention, and survivorship to reduce cancer health disparities in these regions. To address this issue, in department of pathology, we have established a multi-disciplinary research team, consisting of cancer biologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, geneticists, behavioral scientist, bioethicists, Bioinformaticists, and biostatisticians. In additional to extramural funding, we have a strong institutional support to coordinate our efforts to serve our minority communities.
The members of this group, also have established two large multicenter NIH/NCI-funded cancer health disparity research Partnerships with Tuskegee University (TU), Tuskegee, AL and the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Atlanta, GA (U54); and with the Alabama State University (ASU), Montgomery, AL (P20).

The cancer health disparity research group is involved in:

  • Identifying molecular biomarkers using genomic, bioinformatics and integrative data analyses
  • Validate clinical utility of multiple molecular biomarkers in colorectal, prostate, breast, pancreatic, myeloma, and renal carcinomas in patients with different racial/ethnic background.
  • Tap the pool of talented students and faculty at TU, MSM, ASU as well as other minority schools (Miles College, Stillman College, Frisk University, Alabama A & M, Howard University) through the Cancer Training Program of these Partnerships, linking them to established investigators and to the research infrastructure at the UAB comprehensive cancer center.  
  • Work with multidisciplinary research teams to translational basic research findings to the clinic through communities/populations.
  • Increase minority participation in therapeutic clinical trials.
  • Promotes and ensures adherence to bioethical principles and addresses ethical considerations in biomedical resarch.
  • Establishing intra and inter university collaborations and enhance team science approach to tackle complex problems.

Related Faculty: Upender Manne, Esther Suswam, Elizabeth Brown, William Grizzle, Sooryanarayana Varambally, Isam, EltoumGene P Siegal


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