Sanya A. Springfield is Director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) where she supports programs, initiatives, and activities to spawn cancer health disparities research, increase workforce diversity and create networks for community outreach, education and engagement. Within NCI, Dr. Springfield is a member of the Scientific Program Leadership (SPL) where she champions the need for continued investment for diversity training and education programs and to reduce cancer health disparities.
Previously, Dr. Springfield was chief of the NCI Diversity Training Branch, where she conceived, implemented and oversaw the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program. Utilizing a unique, holistic, training pipeline approach, CURE seeks to increase the number of competitive cancer researchers from racial and ethnically diverse, and other underserved populations. Dr. Springfield expanded the CURE program, launching a middle school program as part of a CURE early intervention strategy and an Intramural CURE (iCURE) program aimed at enhancing the diversity of the NCI intramural research workforce. Prior to this, Dr. Springfield had expanded the diversity training landscape through the creation and implementation of the Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE). PACHE aims to improve the cancer research infrastructure at institutions serving underserved health disparity populations and underrepresented students (ISUPS) and enhance the ability of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers to address cancer health disparities in their communities.
Dr. Springfield serves on a variety of trans-NCI and trans-NIH scientific and programmatic committees focused on disparities research, workforce diversity, and inclusive excellence, including the NCI’s Equity Council and the NIH Common Fund’s Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program Working Group Coordinators. For her vision and leadership in promoting diversity in biomedical research, Dr. Springfield was honored with the NIH Director’s Award and the NCI Director’s Award. Dr. Springfield also serves as a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) and the Science Education and Career Development Committee, and played a vital role in establishing the annual The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.
Dr. Springfield received her Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Howard University and was the third African-American neuroscientist in the world. After completing her postdoctoral studies at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, she joined the faculty at City College of New York. Dr. Springfield left the academic ranks to serve as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, and then, entered NIH as a Grants Associate after which she joined the NCI.