CROY (Cancer Research Opportunities for Youth) is an initiative from Yale Cancer Center meant to provide young people from the community hands-on experience, mentoring, and collaboration within the cancer research pipeline. The program is directed by Beth Jones, PhD, MPH, and is supported by a CURE supplement to the Yale Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG P30). The goal of this program is to enrich the cancer research pipeline by providing local high school students from underrepresented groups with hands-on experience and mentorship through an NCI funded Comprehensive Cancer Center.
To qualify, students must identify with a group that is underrepresented in cancer research and be willing to commit to working two summers in the Cancer Center. They will have the option to extend their work into the school year as well. Recruited scholars are typically between the ages of 16-17 years old, and most possess some type of laboratory/research experience. 10 students have been chosen to participate this year, five of which are returning to complete their second year. Over the course of six weeks, the students will work directly with investigators in YCC labs where they will develop a research question and conduct research to provide an answer and present their findings.
This year’s orientation was held on June 25th and student projects include cancer screening and prevention for underserved communities, and the design of new anti-cancer drugs that can help HER2-positive patients that suffer from drug resistance. Orientation was led by Dr. Jones and Program Assistant, ThaiHien Nguyen.
Along the way, students develop important research skills, build relationships, and work to broaden their horizons by exploring new fields in cancer research. The ultimate goal of CROY is to ensure that the next generation of cancer researchers better represents the populations served by NCI funded cancer centers.
To learn more about the program, visit https://www.yalecancercenter.org/research/education/croy/croy.aspx