UMB Launches Program to Funnel Baltimore Youth into Cancer Research & Care Careers


Children Match with Mentors at Launch Event Saturday, Oct. 3; Guests Include City Schools CEO Thornton, NCI Cancer Disparities Director, Elected Officials

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) CURE Scholars Program launches at 10 a.m. onSat., Oct. 3, when dozens of specially selected Baltimore City Public Schools middle school students, specifically from West Baltimore, will meet and match with the adult mentors who will help guide them toward careers in cancer research and therapy. UMB President Jay Perman, MD, wrote recently in theNew York Times Magazine about the importance of diversity in health care providers. The event is at the University of Maryland School of Nursing Auditorium, at 655 W. Lombard Street.

Dignitaries will include Sanya A. Springfield, PhD, director of the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD), Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Gregory E. Thornton, EdD, state Senator Catherine E. Pugh, Baltimore City Councilman Pete Welch and state Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, BSN ‘80. The event will be hosted by UMB CURE Principal Investigator Kevin J. Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

UMB CURE is a new pipeline initiative aimed at steering children from Baltimore neighborhoods into well-paying careers in cancer-related care and research. The program addresses two major issues – race- and income-based cancer disparities as well as diversity in the cancer health work force. The students who will match with mentors on Oct. 3 are the first class of children to enter UMB CURE, and the youngest ever to participate in the National Cancer Institute’s Continuing Umbrella for Research Experiences (CURE) national program.

The CURE nationwide initiative was established by the NCI’s National Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) in 1999. The CURE program usually enrolls high school students and provides a continuum of support and professional guidance to students and trainees through to their first academic appointment. The UMB CURE pipeline, funded with a $750,000 NCI grant, is the first to begin with children still in middle school.

Children will receive lab coats and dignitaries will speak at ceremony from 10 to 11:30, then scholars will mingle and meet with mentors to choose a good match. The children’s families will be present. CURE leadership, children, families and mentors all will be available for interview.

For more information, please contact Patricia Fanning, 443.615.5811,, or Alex Likowski, 410.292.3925, or

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