THE FLORIDA PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUTSTANDING LEADERS (RETOOL) PROGRAM: CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINORITY HBCU STUDENTS

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Training Program Goals: One of the challenges that we face in the United States in being able to effectively address prostate cancer (CaP) disparities is the limited number of underrepresented (URM) scientists, such as racial/ethnic minorities, in biomedical research. Although black men are most likely to get and die from prostate cancer when compared to other racial/ethnic groups, we have very few black CaP scientists and clinicians. Thus, our primary goal is to increase the number of URM CaP scientists/clinicians through the Florida Prostate Cancer Research Training Opportunities for Outstanding Leaders (ReTOOL) Program. The ReTOOL program was first established in 2012 through funding received from the Department of Defense (Award No. W81XWH-12-1-0083). Since the implementation of the program, 10 URM students from Florida A&M University (FAMU) have been trained under this program. The summer 2012 ReTOOL program led to 17 presentations at conferences, 3 publications in progress, 2 grant submissions based on the ReTOOL program, and 1 fellowship award. The trainees' average rating for the program is 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The highest ratings were for the research training experiences (4.75), quality of the training program (4.75), and quality of the mentoring experiences (4.75). Building on this strong foundation, we will expand the ReTOOL program to include another HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) institution - Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU).The Training Program: In this application, we are proposing to continue to promote and sustain the Florida ReTOOL Program through the following activities for future trainees: (a) a strong didactic curriculum that focuses on CaP, health disparities, and cultural competency; (b) access to participate in University of Florida (UF) seminars, workshops, and grand rounds; (c) formal mentorship; and (d) creating a series of support networks and activities to assist student participants in utilizing the UF Health Cancer Center, university, community, and national resources. The most important part of the ReTOOL program is the research experience. Under the supervision of their primary mentors, the ReTOOL trainees will learn how to conceptualize research ideas, develop research questions, develop research methodology to answer the research questions, collect data, analyze data, interpret study results, and disseminate the study results through presentations and publication. Trainees will be placed in a peer-reviewed, funded CaP research environment that will foster learning, provide positive mentor/mentee interactions, and cultivate an interest in CaP research.The ReTOOL program will be directed by Dr. Folakemi Odedina (Principal Investigator) and administered by a Steering Committee (SC) co-chaired by Dr. Odedina and the faculty advisors: Dr. Renee Reams (FAMU) and Dr. Alma Dixon (B-CU). Other members of the SC are the UF faculty mentors: Dr. Yehia Daaka, Dr. Philipp Dahm, Dr. Walter O'Dell, and Dr. Nancy Hardt. All the UF mentors are outstanding CaP scientists/clinicians who have successfully trained ReTOOL students in 2012 and 2013. We will continue to employ the successful ReTOOL trainee recruitment and selection plan used in the last 2 years. Recruitment will take place at FAMU and B-CU using multiple methods, including annual recruitment workshops, email blasts, media alerts (via institutional TV, radio, and newspaper), social media, targeted mailings, posting of fliers in diverse departments, and targeted recruitment of students in Honor Roll programs. We will use the contract services of the UF Survey Research Center (UFSRC) to track trainees after participation in the program to determine their career progress. The UFSRC will track trainees through bi-annual surveys for 5 years after the summer training program using web-based surveys. The immediate benchmarks for success will include: 10 completed projects by URM students, 5 peer-reviewed abstracts presented at national/international conferences, 3 peer-reviewed publications, and a minimum of 7 trainees admitted to graduate/medical school.Applicability of Research Projects: Most of the research projects will focus on addressing CaP disparities in black men. The following Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) 2013 focus areas will be addressed: genetics, imaging, survivorship, and tumor biology. In addition, one of the basic science research laboratories focuses on distinguishing aggressive CaP from indolent disease, one of the three PCRP overarching challenges.Impact: Based on our experiences, the trainees' research skills, ability to conduct literature review, networking skills, and self-confidence will greatly improve by the end of the summer research training program. The immediate outcomes are admission of trainees to graduate/medical schools, presentations at national meetings, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. While the students will mostly benefit from the ReTOOL program, the UF mentors will also benefit through: (1) access to young talents with different perspectives and worldviews; (2) increase in scholarly activities, which will foster career development; (3) professional and personal satisfaction; (4) improvement of leadership skills; and (5) access to a network of future leaders. The ReTOOL program is thus mutually beneficial to mentees and mentors.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/11/148/10/16

Funding

  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: $198,134.00

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