RTOG Foundation and NSABP Foundation, two of the three entities that initially collaborated to establish NRG Oncology, recently announced their financial support of the NRG Oncology Health Equity New Investigator Mentor Program for Underrepresented Minority Scholars. This was following an announcement made by GOG Foundation, the third group that formed NRG Oncology, at the NRG Oncology Virtual Summer Meeting in July 2021, stating they will be providing $80,000 in support of the program as well as an $80,000 donation from Dr. Joan Walker, a professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center and an NRG National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Co-Principal Investigator.
The NRG Oncology Health Equity Mentor Program was created to combat the ongoing uptick in the financial and time burden placed on new, upcoming investigators’ ability to participate in clinical research studies and the limited-time and capacity of seasoned physicians to mentor and engage younger investigators into their respective pathways. Additionally, the Program aims to bridge the disparities gap of underrepresented researchers involved in cooperative groups. The Program aims to provide training opportunities for early-stage investigators within the NRG Oncology membership structure by providing a mentorship experience with emphasis on the recruitment of researchers from underrepresented groups. Mentorship will be provided over a two-year period and will result in the developing of a new research protocol within NRG Oncology. The Program recently announced the addition of three new mentees scholars, including Dr. Tara Castellano, Dr. Oluwadamilola Oladeru, and Dr. Sonya Reid.
NRG Oncology Group Chairs Quynh-Thu Le, MD, also the Chair of the RTOG Foundation, and Norman Wolmark, MD, also the Chairman for NSABP Foundation, jointly remarked on the decision by stating the following message:
“We are pleased to announce our support of the NRG Oncology Health Equity New Investigator Mentor Program. As an affirmation of our commitment to this program the RTOG and NSABP Foundations will each fund an NRG Oncology Health Equity New Investigator for a period of two years. This represents a combined investment of $100,000 into this important NRG Oncology program over a two-year period and follows GOG Foundation's recent announcement of its generous support to the program. We are happy to contribute to this exciting new NRG Oncology initiative, and we look forward to the day when alumni of the NRG Oncology Health Equity New Investigator Mentor Program will provide outstanding oncology research leadership well into the future.”
NRG Oncology is appreciative of the growing support of the program and looks forward to the contributions this program will make within the oncology research community in the future.
About NRG Oncology
NRG Oncology conducts practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical and translational research to improve the lives of patients with cancer. Founded in 2012, NRG Oncology is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit corporation that integrates the research of the legacy National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) programs. The research network seeks to carry out clinical trials with emphases on gender-specific malignancies, including gynecologic, breast, and prostate cancers, and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types. NRG Oncology’s extensive research organization comprises multidisciplinary investigators, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, pathologists, and statisticians, and encompasses more than 1,300 research sites located world-wide with predominance in the United States and Canada. NRG Oncology is supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is one of five research groups in the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network.