Community Health Advisors Angela Williams and Pam Motion (left) speak to Office of Community Outreach & Engagement Program Director Claudia Hardy, MPA (right), during a cancer education activity at Greater St. John Baptist Church in Birmingham in January 2019.

The Office of Community Outreach & Engagement at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center celebrates its silver anniversary this year after 25 years of providing health advocacy and cancer education to communities across the state and the South as a whole.

Story by Joseph D. Bryant •

Photos by Dustin Massey  

George Wheelock III (right) and Frances Sommers Wheelock (left)

After roughly four decades on the Advisory Board of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, George Wheelock III has seen the evolution of both the O’Neal Cancer Center and its annual ArtBLINK Gala. But this year, Wheelock will take on a new role as the Director’s Circle honoree for the Cancer Center’s first-ever virtual ArtBLINK Gala on Feb. 5, 2021.

Story by Curran Umphrey •

Photo by Mike Strawn  

Zainab M. Shonibare

Three years after leaving her home country of Nigeria, UAB doctoral candidate Zainab M. Shonibare is now studying gynecologic cancers in the lab of O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center scientist Mythreye Karthikeyan, Ph.D., in the hopes of bringing the results of her research to cancer patients and survivors across the world.

Story by Curran Umphrey •

Photo submitted by Zainab M. Shonibare  

George Wheelock III (Source: Crossroads, Issue I, 2008, Page 26)

To celebrate 2021 ArtBLINK Gala Director's Circle honoree George Wheelock III and his almost 40 years on the Advisory Board, the O'Neal Cancer Center revisits this 2008 story about Wheelock from the archives with fresh eyes and annotated updates on Wheelock's life.

Story by Josh Till •

Cancer Center Magazine | Crossroads | Issue I | Spring 2008 

Barry P. Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., takes on his new role as director of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.

Young New Jersey state trooper Barry Sleckman never thought he would be trading in his basement repair shop for a lab. Now the new director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, Sleckman has since built his career on the pursuit of what he calls “great things.”

Story by Anna Waters •

Photos by Andrea Mabry  

Sharon Spencer, M.D., UAB radiation oncologist and senior scientist in the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, treats a patient at UAB Hospital. (Photo courtesy of UAB Medicine)

The relationship between cancer research and clinical care has never been more important, but the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UAB Health System are leveraging the best of both worlds by aligning their missions under the leadership of the Cancer Center through the Cancer Service Line.

Story by Anna Waters •

Photos courtesy of UAB Medicine  

Patrons Choice Award winner Sally Boyd completes a painting live on stage at this year’s ArtBLINK Gala on Feb. 1 at The Kirklin Clinic. (Photo by Mike Strawn)

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 35th Annual ArtBLINK Gala raised $767,000 for the Cancer Center’s Fund for Excellence. The annual gala is the culmination of its advisory board’s yearly fundraising campaign and has served as one of the city’s premier social events for more than 30 years.

Story by Curran Umphrey •

Photos by Mike Strawn  

Shannon E. Meier

Shannon E. Meier, a doctoral candidate at UAB, gravitated toward cancer after testing out three different areas of research during her student rotations. In 2016, she decided to join the O’Neal Cancer Center in its mission to become a national leader in cancer research.

Story by Curran Umphrey •

Photo by Anna Waters  

UAB will launch the Pat and Jean Sullivan Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Survivor Care Program in 2020 — the first effort of its kind in the country.

Story by Kendra Carter •  

Photos courtesy of Samford University, Auburn University and Jean Sullivan

Noah Sharafeldin used UAB's supercomputer to identify biomarkers linked with "the fog," a cognitive impairment in patients who received a blood or marrow transplant. She's also testing a way to repair the damage: brain games.

Story by Matt Windsor •

Photos by Steve Wood

Dr. Smita Bhatia speaks with a patient at UAB.

Cancer research has traditionally focused on killing the disease, but Bhatia is a pioneer in proposing the next question entirely: What happens to her patients once cancer is gone?

Story by Matt Windsor •

Photos by Dustin Massey

In April 2019, the outreach office officially changed its name to become the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. This is not just a name change, but a whole new approach of how to reach the community in an effective manner.

By Beena Thannickal

The Cancer Center is working in partnership with the GO2 Foundation with a $1.6 million grant they received from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to reach underserved Alabamians who are most at-risk for lung cancer. 

By Curran Umphrey

SIRT1 plays key role in chronic myeloid leukemia by aiding persistence of leukemic stem cells.

By Jeff Hansen

Dedicated community leaders helped the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama make a record donation to the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.

By Kendra Carter

Vestavia teens raise more than $200K for specialized, young adult cancer care at UAB.

Story by Kendra Carter •

Photos by Dustin Massey

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