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University News

Program Encourages Minority Students To Consider Doctoral Programs in Cancer Control Research


From Dateline (October 23, 2003)

Latinas and Vietnamese women suffer from increased risks of cervical cancer.

Korean men and women experience higher rates of stomach cancer, while black men are at increased risk of lung, prostate, colon and rectal cancer.

And black women have the highest mortality rates of breast cancer, and lesbians also experience higher incidents of the disease.
Science has discovered that cancer strikes various ethnicities and specific groups of individuals because of both genetic and lifestyle differences, and these groups are underrepresented in the field of cancer research.

This year, Cal State Fuller-ton has been invited to nominate students to participate in the Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (MTPCCR).

The program, designed to increase diversity in research and cancer control by encouraging students from these groups to pursue doctoral degrees and careers in cancer research, is supported by the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

“We are very excited about this,” said Sora Park Tanjasiri, associate professor of kinesiology and health promotion and campus liaison to the MTPCCR. “We typically find that students from minority and underserved communities are not aware of the cancer disparities, and we want them to know that this training program is available.

“We want to encourage students to conduct research in areas that may directly affect their own families and communities,” said Tanjasiri.

“This program demonstrates how research can affect real change in cancer control.”

Twenty-five students from throughout Southern California will be selected to attend a five-day summer institute that provides an overview of the skills and resources needed to succeed in a doctoral program. Students can receive paid internships enabling them to work in cancer control research, and up to $2,000 to help cover the costs of applying to any doctoral program in the country. The funds may be used for application and testing fees, as well as travel.

Study that may be appropriate for this program includes nursing, public health, kinesiology, gerontology, counseling, biology and other sciences.

“It’s not restricted to nursing or medicine,” Tanjasiri said. “We want to encourage faculty members from any health or science-related field to identify those eligible graduate students who they think might be interested in going into a cancer control doctoral program.”

Cal State Fullerton is one of seven universities in Southern California participating in the effort. Other universities include CSU campuses at Dominquez Hills, Los Angeles and North-ridge, as well as UC Irvine, UC San Diego and USC.

For more information, contact Tanjasiri at stanjasiri@ fullerton.edu or call 278-4592. The deadline for fall 2004 applications is Feb. 23.

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