Lilly, Roswell Park Cancer Institute Partner to Train Minority Clinical Trial Investigators

Lilly, Roswell Park Cancer Institute Partner to Train

Minority Clinical Trial Investigators

First-of-its-kind program aims to help improve diversity in clinical trials

INDIANAPOLIS and BUFFALO, NY (August 1, 2013) In an effort to increase the number of minority investigators in clinical research, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and The Center for Drug Development and Clinical Trials at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) today announced a new collaborative training program specifically tailored to this growing group of investigators. This program is the first of its kind in the industry.

The partnership will include a three-day clinical research workshop, “Reducing Cancer Disparities Through the Training of a Diverse Workforce,” for minority physicians across the country. Workshops will begin in spring 2014 and will run through 2016.

There are approximately 10,400 oncologists in the United States, but approximately 1 to 2 percent are African American and approximately 2 to 3 percent are Hispanic. The goal of the new initiative is to train 75 to 150 oncologists in the conduct of clinical trials.

“Providing patients with access to new and innovative therapies is one of the most crucial issues in oncology,”said workshop director Alex A. Adjei, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P.,senior vice president for clinical research and director of the Center for Drug Development at Roswell Park. “But we can’t provide that access fairly and uniformly unless we make sure investigators are informed about existing clinical trials and trained in how to run their own research studies.”

“Because medicines don’t work the same for everyone, we need to understand how medicines work and the safety profile in patients likely to take them. By training more oncology minority investigators, our goal is to reach even more diverse populations,” said Coleman Obasaju, M.D., Ph.D., senior medical director at Lilly Oncology and global leader of diversity in clinical research. Dr. Obasaju will present on “Diversity in Clinical TrialsImproving Research Outcomes, Targeted Drug Development” at DiversityInc’s Sept. 24 event, Culturally Competent Healthcare.

The goals of the workshop include:

  • Enhancing clinical research in minority and underserved populations through development of a cadre of well-trained minority investigators;
  • Educating participants about the principles of good clinical trial design and providing the necessary tools required to conduct trials that are relevant to minorities and under-represented populations;
  • Guiding participants to identify various challenges of clinical research, particularly in minority and underserved populations, and providing advice and education on how to overcome these challenges;
  • Providing ongoing mentorship to young minority investigators through career-long relationships with workshop faculty; and
  • Reducing cancer health disparities through increased clinical research targeting minority and underserved populations.

Organizers are targeting minority physicians and senior fellows who have cancer-related sub-specialties in medical, hematologic, radiation, pediatric, surgical and gynecologic oncology. Faculty in the first five years of their academic appointments and those working full-time at an academic institution or practice with a track record of enrolling patients in cancer clinical trials may apply to participate in the workshop.

Enrollment for the 2014 workshop will begin this fall, with details about the application process to be posted on both the RPCI and Lilly websites.

About Roswell Park Cancer Institute

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answersthrough medicines and informationfor some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Information about Lilly is available at

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