According to the most recent studies, the average mortality across all cancer types remains at over 30%. Several primary clinical hurdles remain including therapy resistance, metastasis and early detection of tumors at more visceral sites. Moreover, high mortality for many malignancies correlates strongly with low socio-economic status - communities also commonly underrepresented in the cancer research community.
The California State University – Interdisciplinary Cancer Meeting (CSU-ICM) will address these challenges via a biennial, one-day symposium/conference designed to promote diversity across research disciplines, participant demographics and institutions while being grounded and guided by scientific leaders and cancer research experts.
The overarching purpose of the CSU-ICM is to enhance interdisciplinary exchanges that generate innovative solutions to these central problems in cancer biology and enhance diversity within the oncology research community.
The meeting is comprised of five unique sub-session activities including: 1) a plenary lectures by world-renowned cancer researcher, 2) a cancer survivor and cancer research advocate presentation, 3) four short-talk sessions chaired by discipline-specific faculty experts designed to provide selected trainee attendees the opportunity to present 10- or 5-minute talks about their ongoing work, 4) an open lunch, poster and networking session, and 5) a graduate school inforamtion session consisting of panel of professors from R1 institutions.
Since most CSU institutions serve trainees and students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, this meeting will increase diversity in the cancer research community by fostering inter-institutional collaborations and enable R1, Ph.D.-granting institutions to interact with the diverse and intellectually-gifted CSU trainee community.
Conference aims include: 1) To develop transformative solutions to hurdles in oncology including early diagnosis, therapy resistance, metastasis and racial disparities; 2) To promote scientific teamwork and interdisciplinary approaches to cancer research by bringing together trainees and faculty in the life and non-life sciences; and 3) To engage underrepresented trainees and develop partnerships across institutions to increase diversity in cancer research in order to foster creative approaches to ongoing hurdles in cancer research.