“We are very enthusiastic about this funding mechanism as it strengthens our commitment to nurturing and mentoring youth from underrepresented backgrounds. Through the RUYES program, we leverage the robust educational and outreach resources of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to successfully train the next generation of a diverse cancer research and healthcare workforce,” noted Sunita Chaudhary, PhD, director of research education at Rutgers Cancer Institute and leader of the program. “Hands-on learning opportunities in a unique environment such as the Rutgers Cancer Institute often fuel a great desire in these students to pursue a career in an area they never could have imagined just by reading a text book alone. And while teachers undergo continual training throughout the course of a career, an opportunity to engage directly with our scientists and bring that education back to their classrooms can also spark student interest in these areas in ways that aren’t traditionally seen,” adds Dr. Chaudhary, the grant’s principal investigator.
An Advisory Committee including members selected for their backgrounds and experience in high school and undergraduate education, cancer disparities, community outreach and/or diversity initiatives will support the RUYES program. Co-investigators on the grant include other Rutgers University faculty: Renee Edwards, PhD; Patricia Irizarry, PhD; Rita Musanti, PhD, ANP-BC; Laura E. Liang, DrPH, CHES, CPH; and David Shernoff, PhD.