N.C. A&T, Partners Kick Off Biology of Cancer Semester-long Seminar Series to Increase Cancer Awareness

By Jamie Crockett / 08/31/2020 College of Science and Technology

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2020) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, cancer is the leading cause of death in North Carolina. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 20,000 people have died and nearly 60,000 new cases have been reported in the state this year.

Checo J. Rorie, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Biology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, along with professors at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and UNC-Chapel Hill, created The Biology of Cancer: Exploring the Role of Race, Class, and Socioeconomics in the Underserved and the Underrepresented, a semester-long course that primarily introduces HBCU students to cancer research, treatment and public health topics. The live webinar series is free and open to any major as well as the general public and will feature presentations from cancer biologists, physicians and other public health experts and specialists.

“We hope our students increase their awareness and understanding of cancer and even consider career opportunities in the field from this course,” said Rorie. “Additionally, African Americans are at a higher risk for breast and prostate cancer but when it comes to clinical trials, there’s a low percentage of participation, so it’s hard to reduce health disparities when you don’t have enough people involved.”

The webinar series kicked off with a discussion from course co-creator Antonio T. Baines, Ph.D., an NCCU associate professor with expertise in pancreatic cancer research, who defined cancer and introduced reasons why it seems underrepresented communities are afflicted the most. On Sept. 11, Rorie will specifically discuss cancer health disparities in the African American community, risk factors, diversifying the health care field and the importance of community outreach.

This seminar series is an extension of the statewide programming offered by the UNC Cancer Network at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

To learn more and register for the seminar series, visit the website.

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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