Message from the MICR Council Chairperson
Laura Fejerman, PhD
University of California San Francisco
Dear MICR Membership,
What an exciting 2019 AACR Annual Meeting!
Research on Cancer Health Disparities was presented in
multiple scientific sessions, including a plenary Chaired by Dr. Lisa Newman highlighting
work on breast cancer in African American women, prostate cancer in African American
men, colon cancer in Nigeria and cholangiocarcinoma in different Asian
populations. This was possible thanks to the efforts that the MICR council,
with the untiring support of Dr. Sanya Springfield, has made throughout the
years, the leadership of this year’s program committee chair, Dr. John Carpten,
and the support of AACR’s CEO Dr. Margaret Foti and 2019 president, Dr. Elizabeth
M. Jaffee. It was a historical year for cancer health disparities and for
underrepresented minorities in cancer research.
I am now looking ahead and planning, together with conference
Co-Chairs Smita Bhatia, Phyllis Pettit Nassi, Sandi L. Pruitt, Mariana C. Stern, and Clayton C. Yates, our next big
event: the 12th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in
Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, which will take place
on September 20 - 23, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
This year we are hoping, more than ever, to bring together
scientists from different disciplines, from community outreach and behavioral research
to tumor biology, genetics and genomics. We will have sessions that will
combine presentations from different scientific perspectives but around the
same overall themes, such as cancer health disparities in children, adolescents
and young adults, lifestyle and environmental determinants of cancer health disparities,
cancer health disparities in LGBTQ communities, and disparities in response to
immunotherapy and the cancer immune profile. As we did last year, we are also
including the voices of survivors/advocates throughout the conference.
The conference will also provide the opportunity for our younger
cancer researchers to share their work during our poster sessions as well as
during the “recent findings in cancer health disparities” sessions, which will
include oral presentations from the top 18 submitted abstracts.
Start thinking about the abstract that you are going to
We will also have our usual mentoring roundtables, which are
always a great opportunity to network and learn from more experienced
This year I have the honor to serve as chairperson for the
MICR council. I intend to continue pushing forward the council’s original
commitment to a) Increase the number, participation, visibility, and
recognition of minority scientists in cancer research, 2) Develop programs that
address the professional needs of minority scientists in cancer research, 3)
Provide diversity in the field and within the AACR’s membership, programs,
committees, and leadership, 4) Address the disparities in cancer incidence and
mortality faced by minorities and the medically underserved and when necessary
5) Advocate for relevant, effective legislation pertaining to science and
On behalf of the entire council, we thank you for your
membership and involvement with MICR activities and your interest in being part
of an organization that promotes the career of minority investigators.
I cannot wait to see you in San Francisco!
Laura Fejerman, PhD, MSc
MICR Chairperson 2019-2020