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Communicating Your Science as a Cancer Researcher

Thursday, May 20, 11:45 am-1:15 pm ET

Organized as a collaborative effort between the Associate Member Council (AMC), Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) Council, Women in Cancer Research (WICR) Council, and the AACR Science Education and Career Advancement Committee, we are excited to offer this unique session for investigators at all career stages to discuss ways to efficiently and effectively communicate science to different audiences—both peers and the public.


Did you participate in a virtual Professional Advancement Session during Week II of the AACR Annual Meeting?
Did you watch the sessions on demand? If so, don’t forget to complete the session evaluation and share your feedback with us! Your input will help us shape additional professional development-related sessions and programming. The session evaluation links are located within the session descriptions. Share your feedback!

Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Pre-registration is required and exclusively to AACR Virtual Annual Meeting 2021 registrants.


Session Co-chairs:

John M. Carethers, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Caroline Dive, PhD, CRUK Manchester Institute, Alderley Park, Cheshire, United Kingdom

This session is intended for investigators at all career stages to discuss ways to efficiently and effectively communicate science to various audiences. The session will outline suggestions for concise and appropriate audience level presentation skills – real and virtual – that can effectively highlight your research and communicate key findings and implications of your research.  This will include not only pre-planned presentations and their delivery, but thinking on your feet to answer questions in the most appropriate way depending on who is asking them. Peer review publications are the permanent record of your research but are often read by a limited audience. This session focuses on ideas to extend that audience. 


Marcia R. Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD

Marcia R. Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry

University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Physician Scientist with a focus on gastrointestinal oncology, cancer prevention, hereditary cancer, clinical trials and health disparities. I have lead multidisciplinary GI Oncology Research Program and founded a NFP Clinical Research Organization to provide access to cancer therapies to community practices in Puerto Rico. Have been part of multiple professional organizations including current member of the AACR Governing board, and the MICR and WICR Councils. I am a firm believer of second chances, of pursuing your passion and contributing to achieve health equity.

Finding what makes you happy, focus on your strengths not your weaknesses, surround yourself with people of value, help nourished other’s lives and careers, promote and mentor others, it the right thing to do, and as you do, you will grow and become stronger. Is important to evaluate your plan, measure your outcomes and readjust as needed. I am constantly evaluating how I invest time, what are my priorities and how can I be more effective in all areas of my life. Know your core values, and make sure your life is in sync with those values, you will be happier and those around you too!

Keywords: treatment and prevention, cancer clinical trials, hereditary cancers, cancer genetics, leadership, and program development

Rene H. Medema, PhD

Rene H. Medema, PhD

Director of Research

Netherlands Cancer Institute

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Rene H. Medema has worked in the cell cycle field since his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. R.A. Weinberg (Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA). His work as an independent group leader at the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Netherlands Cancer Institute has been focused on transcriptional regulation of the cell cycle, the function of cell cycle checkpoints, and the consequences of chromosome segregation errors.

His group has made several key contributions to the general understanding of control of the cell cycle in response to activation of the DNA damage checkpoint. In addition, work from his group has provided more insight on the role of motor proteins in spindle assembly and the consequences of chromosome missegregation on the genomic stability and viability of a tumor cell. He is currently scientific director of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and professor of Experimental Oncology at the University Medical Center Utrecht. He was elected EMBO member in 2007 and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.

The best way to build a career is not to fear failure. This will allow you to step out of your comfort zone, work with the best and to continue to expand your skillset.

Keywords: basic research, cell cycle control, mobility as a booster for your career

Robert A. Winn, MD


VCU Massey Cancer Center

Richmond, Virginia

Dr. Winn is a long-standing advocate for health equity in lung cancer; he advocates for the expansion of access to high-quality, low-density CT (LDCT) screening among underserved high-risk populations, integration of evidenced-based tobacco treatment into screening programs, and inclusion of diverse populations into clinical and translational research. He has, throughout his career, modeled the growing and impactful behavior of cancer centers to tailor interventions to the needs of vulnerable populations by maintaining an ongoing relationship with community partners. He believes that the knowledge and trust gained in this way affords academic institutions the opportunity to tailor interventions to the needs of a vulnerable community and thereby increase the sustainability of efforts that influence patient outcomes.

Dr. Winn’s notable research contributions include evidence of the need to redefine risk-based guidelines to improve the beneficial results in LDCT screening in African Americans that goes beyond focusing only on age and smoking status criteria.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Winn was awarded the National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities CURE Program Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and of several other professional societies.