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American Association for Cancer Research Honoring Dr. Beti Thompson With 2013 Distinguished Lectureship on Cancer Health Disparities Sponsored by Susan G. Komen


December 5, 2013

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ATLANTA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is pleased to announce that Beti Thompson, Ph.D., will present the fourth annual AACR Distinguished Lecture on Cancer Health Disparities, funded by Susan G. Komen.

Thompson, associate program head and associate director for health disparities research in the Cancer Prevention Program of the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., will deliver her lecture, “Eliminating Cancer Health Disparities: Can It Be Done?” Friday, Dec. 6, during the opening plenary session of the Sixth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, 6:30 p.m. ET at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Ga.

Reporters who cannot attend the conference in person can listen to Thompson’s lecture, along with the keynote address given by Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, by dialing in with the following information:

  • United States/Canada (toll-free): 866-297-6395
  • International (toll): 847-944-7319
Thompson is being recognized for her key role in developing one of the nation’s pre-eminent programs in cancer health disparities, which is based on the overarching goal to discover why disparities exist and build capacity in community-based research to investigate, educate, and treat cancer. Thompson’s research has played a role in the design and implementation of community approaches to reducing cancer health disparities in minority and other underserved populations in the United States and abroad.

In her lecture, Thompson will discuss lack of access to care in terms of cancer prevention behavior among Hispanic populations. She will examine community-based, participatory research initiatives and the effect of such programs on increasing colorectal cancer screenings.

“We are delighted to recognize Dr. Thompson with this distinguished lectureship,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “While great strides have been made in cancer prevention and treatment, we still see a disproportionately higher burden of cancer falls on racial and ethnic minorities, as well as low-income and elderly populations. Dr. Thompson’s career-long commitment to improving health care for these underserved populations has had a wide-ranging impact on the field of cancer health disparities and on individuals throughout the world.”

Founded in 2010, the AACR Distinguished Lectureship on the Cancer Health Disparities recognizes an investigator whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of cancer health disparities.

“Dr. Thompson shares our commitment to ensure access to breast cancer screening and quality treatment for all women and men, regardless of their socioeconomic status or other barriers to care. We congratulate Dr. Thompson for her important work and for this honor,” said Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S., president and chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen.

Thompson has received numerous other honors in recognition of her achievements in disparities research, including the University of Washington Mentor of the Year Award; the Women of Color Mentor Award; the University of Washington School of Public Health Distinguished Faculty Lecture; the Women of Valor Award, presented by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington; and the American Public Health Association’s Latino Caucus Distinguished Nationally Known Health Professional Award.

Thompson graduated from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and received her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.