Health Inequities Seminar Series

Scientists attending a seminar in the Knight Cancer Research Building

Free webinars about the impact of health inequities

CEDAR’s Health Inequities Seminar Series aims to build awareness and advance understanding about the impact systemic health inequities have on cancer early detection and treatment though interactive talks and discussion with leaders in the field. All are welcome. 

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Reach out with any questions or let us know if there's a speaker you'd recommend or a topic you'd like to see discussed here. 

Join us at our next event:

Embracing Equity: A scientific journey through barriers and opportunities in women’s health in the Middle East and North Africa

Photo of Navid Madani, Ph.D.

Presented by:

Navid Madani, Ph.D.
Founding Director, Science Health Education (SHE) Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Senior Scientist, Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Departments of Microbiology and Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School 

Thursday, April 20, 2023
1-2 p.m. Pacific | 
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OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building auditorium or via Webex

 The CEDAR Health Inequities Committee is delighted to host OHSU alumna Dr. Madani for this special educational seminar. Dr. Madani completed her doctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

In this seminar, Dr. Madani will share how she has connected her education, training, research and patient experience to address health inequities that are so devastating for women in countries of the Middle East and North Africa region.  As a cancer patient herself, working in a region of the world where cancer holds incredibly engrained religious and social stigma, Dr. Madani is an advocate for understanding the patients’ lived experiences. In her talk, Dr. Madani will take the audience through lessons learned on how one’s own identities and values are directly correlated with impact as physicians, providers, and caretakers. Health is no longer uniquely clinical in definition, in fact, it is overarchingly influenced by what we cannot see, what we cannot measure, and what we often cannot even describe. It is our responsibility, however, to offer a platform and space for individuals to attempt to do so and remain open to offer our support and dedication to equity, advocacy, and best, comprehensive health for all.

Target audience: Students, trainees and early to mid-career staff.

Past events

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., FACP

Presented by:

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., FACP
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine
Professor of Human Genetics
Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health
UChicago Medicine

Friday, March 24, 2023
1-2 p.m. Pacific

Risk-stratified breast cancer screening strategies are a paradigm shift from the one-size-fits-all screening approach. Previous age-based screening strategies proved to be disadvantageous to specific high-risk populations, particularly BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and individuals of African ancestry at high risk for aggressive young onset interval breast cancers. A growing number of studies have demonstrated the diagnostic equivalency of abbreviated MRI to the full MRI protocol. We launched the Chicago Alternative Prevention Study for BReast CAncer (CAPSBRACA; NCT00989638) to test the hypothesis that state-of-the-art genomic testing to identify women at increased risk, combined with state-of-the-art MRI techniques, could effectively detect and downstage aggressive interval breast cancers, and provide a personalized approach for management of high-risk women in diverse populations. I will discuss the progress of our work in population risk stratification.

Peter Bach, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Delfi Diagnostics
Peter Bach, M.D.

Presented by:

Peter Bach, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Delfi Diagnostics

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022
1:30-2:30 p.m. Pacific

Health policy and payment expert, pulmonary physician, and lung cancer epidemiologist, Bach has devoted his career to repairing defects in the healthcare delivery system that impede access to high-quality cancer care and working to ameliorate healthcare's cost crisis.

His work spans seminal studies including that identification of racial gaps in lung cancer care, the development of the first lung cancer risk prediction model (the "Bach model"), lead authorship on multiple lung screening guidelines, and definitional work on pharmaceutical pricing and value.

Bach previously served as senior adviser at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and mentor on many National Institutes of Health K awards. He has been elected to the National
Academy of Medicine, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.

Headshot of Melinda Davis, PhD

Presented by:

Melinda M. Davis, Ph.D., MCR
Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health
Associate Director, Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN)
Oregon Health & Science University

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
1-2 p.m. PDT

Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) and community engaged research can help bridge the gap between research and practice. This talk will provide a brief history of PBRNs and practice facilitation, define participatory implementation science, and highlight rural cancer disparities with a focus on interventions to improve colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. This foundation will be used to provide an illustrative example of partnered work with rural patients, clinics, and health plans leading to an NCI-funded Cancer Moonshot award to improve CRC screening and follow-up care titled “Screening More patients for CRC through Adapting and Refining Targeted Evidence-based Interventions in Rural settings (SMARTER CRC).” Status of the pragmatic trial will be shared along with lessons learned from a decade of research in rural settings, including dynamic adaptations made in response to Covid-19.

Learning objectives:
• Define practice-based research and practice facilitation
• Identify multilevel factors contributing to rural cancer disparities
• Provide an example of participatory implementation science in action

Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D.
Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D.

Presented by:

Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Breast Surgery and Oncology 
Scientific Director, International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes
Member, Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022
1-2 p.m. PST

Dr. Davis is a molecular geneticist with expertise in genomics and systems biology. Her research focuses on discerning multifocal contributions to cancer risk and disparities in clinical oncology outcomes, and on linking this information back to genetic ancestry, particularly sub-Saharan West African ancestry. 

Her breast cancer research has identified that an African-ancestry allele and the recently discovered tumor expression of a gene named DARC (ACKR1) are linked to the tumor-specific immune/inflammatory response. Emerging findings from this project indicate that immune response in tumors of African Americans may be linked to worse clinical outcomes but also have potential for novel targeted therapies. 

Dr. Davis discussed the latest gene signatures associated with genetic ancestry and social constructs and how these may intersect to impact clinical outcomes in breast cancer.

Robert Winn, M.D.
Robert Winn, M.D.

Presented by:

Robert Winn, M.D.
Director and Lipman Chair in Oncology, VCU Massey Cancer Center
Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Innovation and Professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, VCU School of Medicine

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021
1-2 p.m. PDT

In 2020, the AACR’s U.S. Cancer Disparities Progress Report showed that there is still a significant gap in cancer incidence and mortality between white Americans and other racial and ethnic groups. That’s not because the science hasn’t progressed or because people of color are biologically predisposed to cancer. It’s because the systems and structures put in place decades ago continue to harm the health of racial and ethnic minorities.

When COVID-19 hit, many of us were not surprised that communities of color were disproportionately affected. The current situation with COVID-19 vaccines is a great demonstration that while science is necessary for improving health, it’s not sufficient. Those amazingly effective vaccines can’t keep hospitals from being overwhelmed if a large percentage of the population won’t get the shot, just as advances in cancer screening and treatment can’t end disparities if
they’re predominantly going to wealthy white people.

This realization has been one of our blind spots as scientists and physicians. Not only must we work toward equitable access to care, but we must also work on building trust in medicine, which we do by demonstrating that we’re trustworthy. There’s a science to it, though we’re going to have to allow for greater flexibility and messiness than we’re accustomed to.