The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has a commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion within NCI and in the wider cancer research workforce. The Diversity Career Development Program (DCDP), established by the Intramural Diversity Workforce Branch (IDWB) within the Center for Cancer Training (CCT), brings us closer to that goal. This competitive program aims to provide NCI postdoctoral trainees with the tools necessary to develop as leaders in independent research careers through a yearlong mentoring program. The CPFP is pleased to announce that two of our fellows, Drs. Brittany Lord and Waruiru Mburu have been selected to be among this year’s 12 DCDP’s participants. Both Dr. Lord’s and Dr. Mburu’s interests and career goals make them an exceptional selection for this program.
Dr. Lord’s postdoctoral work includes investigations into population-level differences in genetic ancestry and their association with breast and prostate cancer prognosis and survival. She looks forward to her participation in the DCDP as she believes the program will help her set attainable goals as an independent researcher, encourage creating strong collaborative networks, and empower her to have difficult conversations around the topic of racism and inclusivity. Following her postdoctoral training, Dr. Lord plans to apply her experience in basic science and epidemiology into her own integrative cancer health disparities research program at a U.S.-based academic institution. She feels that the DCDP will provide her with unique leadership and professional development skills that will bolster her skillset and improve her ability to perform impactful health disparities research.
Dr. Mburu is unwavering in her dedication to eliminating cancer disparities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). As a Kenya native, Dr. Mburu has a personal connection and strong motivation in addressing health inequities in her home country and beyond. In preparation, she has honed her skills in study design, data analysis and evidence dissemination to different stakeholders. From her past research on tuberculosis and malaria in East Africa to her collaboration with breast cancer stakeholders in Ghana, Dr. Mburu has already begun to make an impact. She has identified the DCDP as an opportunity to build confidence as a leader and build community at NCI. She believes these two key pieces will jolt her career and assist in fulfilling her mission of addressing health disparities in her community.
The DCDP is part of the NCI Equity and Inclusion Program. NCI’s commitment to equity and inclusion aligns with the NIH UNITE initiative, an NIH-wide goal to address structural racism within the scientific community. For more information on the DCDP, visit here.