The revolutionary and uniquely robust Robert A. Winn Fellowship Program for Diversity in Clinical Trials is on track to train more than 500 people from diverse backgrounds by 2027
PRINCETON, NJ –News Direct– Bristol Myers Squibb Company
PRINCETON, NJ, April 11, 2022/3BL Media/ — The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), in conjunction with its partners, National Medical Fellowships (NMF) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), today announced a new name for the five-year, $100 million initiative launched in 2020 to increase diversity in clinical trials: the Robert A. Winn Award Program for Diversity in Clinical Trials. In addition, the program welcomed a gift of $14 million over the next four years from the program’s new backer, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
The program, created as one of many commitments to health equity, diversity and inclusion made in 2020 by the BMSF and its donor Bristol Myers Squibb, was named in honor of Robert A. Winn, MD, director of the Massey Cancer Center, Commonwealth University of Virginia. Winn is the first African-American director of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, such as the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences Program Lifetime Achievement Awards. As Chair of the National Advisory Committee for BMSF’s Clinical Trials Diversity Career Development Program since its inception, Winn’s guidance has been instrumental in shaping the program.
“We are proud and delighted that Dr. Winn has agreed to put his name to this program,” said John Damonti, Chairman of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “He has been a tireless advocate for the goal of this program – to enable people of color and underserved populations to benefit more from clinical research. Throughout his distinguished career, he has shown extraordinary commitment community-based research focused on eliminating health inequities, and it is in large part due to his leadership, expertise and passion that the program has become a reality.
“I’m honored to be such a small part of a great program that will have a huge impact for years to come,” Winn said.
“We congratulate Dr. Winn on this well-deserved honor,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “The AACR and the cancer research community as a whole have benefited greatly from his leadership on issues of diversity, equity and community engagement. His groundbreaking efforts are helping to transform cancer research into a more inclusive field of inquiry that supports minority scientists and physicians and understands the urgency of addressing disparities that have plagued underserved communities for too long. This exciting and impactful program is worth giving its name to, and we were delighted to celebrate it and our partnership with BMSF and NMF yesterday at the Opening Ceremony of the AACR Annual Meeting in New Orleans. .
Developing world-class, community-driven clinical researchers
The Robert A. Winn Fellowship Program for Diversity in Clinical Trials includes two awards: The Robert A. Winn Award for Career Development, intended for early-stage physician-scientists from diverse backgrounds and/or committed to increasing diversity in clinical trials; clinical trials, and the Robert A. Winn Award. Winn Clinical Investigator Pipeline Program Award for Underrepresented Medical Students (URMs). BMSF is committed to supporting 250 Winn Career Development Awards and 250 Winn Pipeline Awards. Additionally, Gilead Sciences has committed to supporting 10 of each award per year for the next four years.
“This program is already building the capacity of a diverse group of clinical researchers who are committed to engaging their communities and ensuring that all affected people are represented in clinical trials, which is essential for a full understanding of how medication,” Merdad Parsey said. , MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences. “Gilead is proud to support this work which builds on our existing efforts to ensure greater inclusion and diversity are built into the design of clinical trials and to put patient needs first.
The first cohort of Winn Career Development Award Scholars entered the program in November 2021. These physicians hail from 22 states across the United States and include 34 women and 18 men who represent a diverse cross section of races and ethnicities, as well that a range of experiences. in the therapeutic axes of cancer (hematological and solid tumours), immunological disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Their two-year participation in the program began with an intensive AACR educational workshop on “best-in-class” clinical trial design, followed by training in the skills and competencies needed to engage effectively. with communities to foster trusting relationships aimed at recruiting diverse clinicians. trial participants. Winn Career Development Award Scholars are paired in mentoring relationships with established clinical researchers and also serve as mentors to URM medical students through the Winn Pipeline Award program.
“This program is a game-changer in the fight to advance health equity and to make the field and practice of clinical research more inclusive. It provides an essential on-ramp for physicians and underrepresented medical students to become clinical investigators and conduct community-driven research that benefits all populations,” said Michellene Davis, Esq, President and CEO of the leadership of National Medical Fellowships. “Community-driven research, led by diverse clinical investigators, is essential to help dismantle systemic and structural racism and overcome the historical and current well-deserved distrust that communities of color have towards medical research. The mentorship woven into the program is critical to career advancement and professional resiliency, which are especially important for those who are underrepresented in medicine.
For more information about the Robert A. Winn Award for Diversity in Clinical Trials program established by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, visit www.diversityinclinicaltrials.org.
About the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, an independent charity, focuses on communities most at risk of suffering the effects of serious illnesses in the hardest hit parts of the world. It enables partners to develop and test innovative solutions to advance health equity and improve access to quality healthcare for patients. Grantmaking focuses on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and immunological disease, as well as the diversity of clinical trials in the United States and cancers prevalent in nine African countries, Brazil, and China. The mission of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve health outcomes for populations disproportionately affected by serious illness by building the capacity of health care workers, integrating medical care and community support services and mobilizing communities in the fight against the disease. For more information, visit the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (bms.com).
About National Medical Fellowships
Seeking to empower and support aspiring physicians and medical professionals who are underrepresented in medicine to contribute to the health of our nation, the mission of the National Medical Fellowships is to provide scholarships and support to underrepresented medical students and in the health professions. Founded in 1946, NMF is one of America’s premier diversity organizations. Today, as the only national organization solely dedicated to providing scholarships to medical and health professions students from all groups underrepresented in health care, NMF is reducing health care disparities creating new generations of clinicians and health leaders dedicated to achieving health equity. NMF is supported by a nationwide network of more than 32,000 alumni who serve tens of millions of patients each year. Together, we continue to advance health equity as we build the next generation of diverse healthcare leaders. For more information about NMF, visit nmfonline.org.
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure all cancers. AACR members include more than 50,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health professionals; and patient advocates residing in 129 countries. The AACR brings together the full range of skills in the cancer community to accelerate progress in the understanding, prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by hosting more than 30 educational conferences and workshops each year, including the most important is the annual meeting of the AACR. , with over 74,000 attendees in 2020 virtual meetings and over 22,500 attendees in past in-person meetings. In addition, the AACR publishes 10 prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with many cancer organizations. As a scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grant administration, and scientific oversight for team scientist grants and individual investigators in cancer research who have the potential to benefit patients in the short term. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other decision-makers about the value of cancer research and cancer-related science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has been pursuing and achieving breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries around the world, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
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