Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Simon Laboratory

Diversity in Clinical Trials

Current Projects

Biospecimen Management Program (BMaP)

The participation of racial/ethnic minorities and underserved populations in clinical trials is a critical link between scientific innovation and improvements in health care delivery and health outcomes. However, these population groups often do not participate in clinical trials or biobanking research. The Cancer Disparities Research Network (CDRN), formerly the Region 5 Geographic Management Program (GMaP)/ Biospecimen Management Program (BMaP), provides an infrastructure to lead and support a systematic and comprehensive approach for biospecimens and cancer disparities research in diverse underrepresented communities in the Region 5 “hub” of Midwest to Northeast states (CT, IA, IL, IN, MA, MI, MN, ND, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, WI). Funding support is provided by the National Cancer Institute.

Cancer 101 Biospecimen/Biobanking Pilot Project

Data from our regional needs assessment indicate a need to develop community outreach or education programs to promote the importance of biospecimens collection and biobanking across minority and underserved populations. The Cancer Disparities Research Network (CDRN) is conducting a pilot project to translate, adapt and pilot test an evidenced-based biospecimen education curriculum for six target population groups: African American, Hispanic, Appalachian, Chinese, South Asian, and Native American. Northwestern, in partnership with Rush University, is currently adapting this education module to the Chinese population in Chicago. Funding support is provided by the National Cancer Institute.

Clinical Trial and Biobanking Research Communication Tool

Cancer centers across the United States are struggling to diversify clinical trial and biospecimen research participation. This project will develop a communication tool to educate and enhance discussion and understanding of research concepts in order to promote recruitment of underrepresented minorities in medical research, cancer trials, and biobanking research. Funding support is provided by the National Cancer Institute.

Diversification of Cancer Clinical and Biospecimen Research Education Program

Building on clinical trial and biobanking research portfolio, Northwestern is leading strategic efforts to develop a collaborative education program to create a new approach to optimize the inclusion of diverse stakeholders – including investigators, support teams, research participants and community members across the cancer research continuum. This collaborative project will leverage the diversity and expertise of two well-established regional networks originally funded by the NCI Geographical and Biospecimen Management Programs (G/BMaP). Funding support is provided by the National Cancer Institute.