NCI Welcomes Inaugural iCURE Program Scholars
“Commit to conducting innovative, impactful, interdisciplinary research with integrity and sustained excellence,” said Dr. Lauren Wood in her keynote address to the inaugural cohort at the recent National Cancer Institute Intramural Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (iCURE) welcome ceremony.
Nearly one year after the iCURE program was first announced, the first 15 iCURE trainees—called iCURE scholars—were officially welcomed to NCI during a recent ceremony at Stone House.
iCURE is run by the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities and the NCI Intramural Research Program that supports mentored research experiences in a multidisciplinary environment. It is an extension of the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, which for more than 20 years has used a pipeline approach to promote the progress of its trainees toward research independence as well as enhance diversity in the cancer and cancer health disparities research workforce.
“This is a program that is near and dear to our hearts. It is something that we’ve envisioned for quite some time and today marks the beginning of a new reality,” said CRCHD director Dr. Sanya Springfield.
iCURE scholars were also welcomed by Dr. Tom Misteli, Center for Cancer Research director, and Dr. Ethan Dmitrovsky, president of Leidos Biomedical Research and laboratory director of the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.
“We are training the next generation of leaders and role models—and that is you—and that is why this program is important,” Misteli told the iCURE scholars. The program strongly encourages the participation of individuals from underrepresented populations and is aligned with NCI’s interest in diversity.
The 2018 cohort of iCURE scholars includes 6 post-baccalaureate (including post-master’s) individuals, 3 graduate students and 6 postdoctoral fellows. The scholars will work closely with scientists on the NCI campuses for the next 1 to 3 years.