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MICR Member Spotlight

The MICR Member Spotlight exists to focus attention on the recent awards, promotions, degree completions, and appointments of AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research members.

The mission of MICR is to prevent and cure cancer while meeting the professional needs and advancing the careers of minority scientists. Sending your accolades to us for the “MICR Member Spotlight” will increase the visibility and recognition of the outstanding contributions minority scientists are regularly making to the field of cancer research.

Call for Spotlight Nominations

Have you or a colleague recently made a career advancement, earned a degree, had a major publication, or received an award? If so, nominate them (or yourself) for the MICR Member Spotlight. Let the MICR community know what is going on in your life. Send us an email to request the MICR Spotlight Form.

Past Member Spotlights

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD
Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD, has gained the distinction of being the first woman and first African-American from South Carolina to be inducted into the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hughes-Halbert serves as the professor and endowed chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center and is a past chairperson of MICR. Of her appointment Dr. Hughes-Halbert said, “I just see it as a real honor because I think it places MUSC as an institution among some of the most elite academic centers in the country,” said Hughes-Halbert, who holds the AT&T distinguished endowed chair in cancer equity. “And one of the things I’m most proud of since coming here is the work that’s being done in minority health and health disparities and cancer prevention and control. Several investigators, not just me, are really bringing national attention to MUSC.” In addition to this honor, Dr. Hughes-Halbert serves as a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and associate dean for assessment, evaluation, and quality improvement in the MUSC College of Medicine. In 2017, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors.

LeeAnn Bailey, MD, PhD
Dr. LeeAnn Bailey is branch chief of the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD). In this role, she manages, develops, and assesses strategies for enhancing the integration and dissemination of diversity training, women’s health, and sexual and gender minority efforts within and across NCI, as well as within the scientific community and underserved communities through NCI-supported networks. She also identifies and leverages
opportunities to address unmet needs in cancer health disparities research. Dr. Bailey is a cross-disciplinary scientist with expertise in developing and implementing programs and policies pertaining to biomedical diversity, precision medicine, public health and health information technology.

Dr. Bailey’s career is reflective of initiatives to improve public health, enhance biomedical training and address cancer health disparities in vulnerable populations. Prior to joining NCI in November 2016, she had several different roles; including as a research principal investigator at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researching tissue engineered products and cellular inflammatory responses, professor at a historically black college or university (Morgan State). Most recently, she was a health care consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP, recognized as a Big 4 company for its global reach and reputation. Additionally, she possesses deep federal and clinical expertise and has served
as a scientific peer-reviewer for several high impact journals.

Dr. Bailey received her MBBS (MD equivalent) from the University of Adelaide Medical School with an emphasis on aboriginal health and pediatric oncology. Dr. Bailey also has a PhD in biochemistry and molecular genetics and an MS in biological and physical sciences from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Lee Gibbs, PhD
Lee D. Gibbs, PhD, graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) with his doctorate in biomedical sciences, cancer biology, and prestigious high honors on his dissertation. For the next step in his biomedical research career, Gibbs has begun a postdoctoral fellowship in the Translational Genomics Department at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Dr. Gibbs dissertation sought to identify potential molecular markers that could predict clinical outcomes in African-American women with triple-negative breast cancer. During his doctoral studies he has served as president of the Black Graduate Student Association and chair of the Interprofessional Student Coalition which composed students from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Public Health, Pharmacy, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and School of Health Professions (Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy). He has been awarded numerous awards for his doctoral studies some of which are, the 2016 Ninth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved Scholar-in-Training Award, 2016 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award, and the 2016 Smith & Nephew UNTHSC Research Appreciation Day First Place Translational Research Award. He also is an associate member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. He has published several manuscripts and serves as a reviewer for scientific publication. He is a proud member of AACR and MICR and has been a member since 2010 as an undergraduate.

John M. Carethers, MD
Congratulations to MICR Council Chair-elect, John M. Carethers, MD, on his recent election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Carethers is the John G. Searle professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan since November 2009. As chair, he oversees over 700 paid faculty in their academic, clinical, and teaching roles as they relate to the overall integration with the health system’s missions of clinical excellence, education, and discovery. Dr. Carethers is a trained gastroenterologist and physician-scientist who focuses his research in the area of hereditary colon cancer genetics.

Electra D. Paskett, PhD, MPH
President Obama announced his intention to appoint AACR member Electra D. Paskett, PhD, MPH, as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board. President Obama said, “I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service. I look forward to working with them.”

Dr. Paskett has been an active member of the AACR since 2002. She is deputy editor for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and a member of the Cancer Prevention Research editorial board. Paskett has also been involved in the AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program, as a cancer survivor herself. Dr. Paskett was also the recipient of the 2015 AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities.

Mya Roberson, BA
Thomas J. Bardos Awardee Mya Roberson, recently finished her undergraduate degree at Brown University on a high note. Mya was elected to the board of trustees at Brown as the Young Alumni Trustee and was awarded the Jin Prize for academic performance and service to Brown and the surrounding community. In August, she will begin graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the MSPH-PhD program in epidemiology with a focus on cancer. While at UNC, Mya plans to work with her advisor on studying the factors related to the secular convergence of breast cancer incidence rates between black and white women. Mya hopes to pursue a career in government or at an academic research institution and continue studying the causes cancer disparities, particularly in black women.