I-CHER Center Research Symposium

The Illinois Cancer Health Equity Research (I-CHER) Center will host its inaugural research symposium and community celebration on December 2 in a virtual event. The I-CHER Center sits within the University of Illinois Cancer Center and is made possible with funding from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and support from the Cancer Center.

The Cancer Center on the University of Illinois Chicago campus was 1 of 4 four Minority Serving Institutions that shared in more than $16 million in grants awarded by the ACS, beginning in January 2022, to establish Cancer Health Equity Research (CHER) Centers. The others were the University of Arizona, Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and Howard University in Washington, D.C. Each institution received a four-year grant of $4.08 million.

During the upcoming symposium, which is open to those interested in cancer health equity research, participants will hear presentations about the I-CHER Center subaward projects and Cancer Center resources in an interactive and engaging platform. Register here for the event and celebrate with us.

The I-CHER Center is funding six subawards.

  • Latinas Lideres En Salud (LALISA): ELLAS/The Resurrection Project and other stakeholders will compare the effects of two community navigation models on improving the uptake of genetic services and risk-based breast health care among Latinas who have elevated biological breast cancer risk and social risks due to structural factors. Principal Investigator: Yamile Molina, PhD, Cancer Center Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
  • TestMiGenes: In the TestMiGenes Study, the research aims to compare two models of cancer genetics service in primary care to improve the uptake of genetic testing among patients at risk for having a hereditary cancer syndrome (e.g., Lynch syndrome or a BRCA mutation). The feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of each care model to help inform the development of best practices for primary care integration also will be examined. Principal Investigator: Pamela Ganschow, MD, part of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control research program
  • FOR ME: In the Fostering Opportunities in Research through Messaging and Education (FOR ME) Study, a team of researchers and local community advocacy groups, including Sisters Working It Out and Equal Hope, will develop a multimedia decision aid for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer to increase awareness about clinical trial participation. Principal Investigator: Kent Hoskins, MD, Cancer Center Associate Director of Translation Research and part of the Cancer Center’s Translational Oncology research program.
  • Colorectal Cancer: Principal Investigator Keith Naylor, MD, part of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control research program, seeks to improve cancer risk assessment and colorectal cancer screening among underserved populations through enhanced family history documentation.
  • Oral Health: Principal Investigator Patrick D. Smith, DMD, MPH, will collaborate with Project Brotherhood, a community-based organization with expertise in Black men’s health, to develop a tool that will assist dental providers in engaging Black men in discussions about oral and pharyngeal cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Breast Cancer: Principal Investigator Chinwe Ewenighi-Amankwah, PhD, aims to understand molecular determinants of health, including the therapeutic implications of ACKR1 mutations.
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