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Yale Cancer Center Diversity Enhancement Program in Oncology welcomes first students

August 03, 2022

The Section of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center welcomes its first students to the newly-launched Diversity Enhancement Program in Oncology, Larisa Kamga, PhD, and Taylor Barrow.

The program offers an eight-week rotation for two underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students or residents, and is designed to provide exposure to hematology/medical oncology as a career, provide faculty-mentored clinical experience in oncology as well as with a corresponding clinical or translational research project. Students also receive co-mentorship from current Medical Oncology-Hematology T32 fellows.

“The Diversity Enhancement Program in Oncology is a new and exciting opportunity we now offer for students underrepresented in medicine,” said Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Deputy Director for Clinical Affairs and Chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, and Assistant Dean for Translational Research at Yale School of Medicine. “Our inaugural class will gain an impactful oncology experience throughout their eight-week rotation, with mentoring from our outstanding faculty and fellows. We’re thrilled to offer this program and to be able to add to the many talented physician-scientists we have here at Yale.”

The program is also expected to serve as a pipeline for the Yale Cancer Center Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellowship Program and the Yale Cancer Center Advanced T32 Training Program for Physician-Scientists, increasing the pool of URiM candidates.

Expenses, including living, transportation, and research, are paid for by the program, up to $5,000 per student, thanks to the generous support of the Beatrice Kleinberg Neuwirth Fund and Mr. Stephen Neuwirth.

Dr. Kamga is currently a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. She received her PhD from University of Massachusetts Medical School in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Kamga started the program on July 5, and has joined Dr. Harriet Kluger’s lab. Dr. David Schoenfeld, a T32 fellow, is serving as co-mentor.

Ms. Barrow is pursuing her medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and earned a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree from the University of Vermont. She will begin her rotation with the Diversity Enhancement Program in Oncology in late September.

The application period for the second class of the Diversity Enhancement Program in Oncology is expected to open in February 2023. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD; Alfred Lee, MD, PhD; or Meina Wang, PhD.

Submitted by Eliza Folsom on August 03, 2022