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Memorial Sloan Kettering Announces Newly Endowed Chair and Fellowships for Health Equity and Diversity


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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has announced the newly established Nicholls-Biondi Chair for Health Equity. This permanently endowed chair is dedicated to improving outcomes for patients from medically underserved communities and building a base of knowledge to facilitate health equity for people with cancer worldwide.

Endowed through a gift from Jamie C. Nicholls, Vice Chair, MSK Boards of Trustees and Governing Trustees, and Chair, Memorial Hospital Board of Governing Trustees, and her husband, O. Francis Biondi, the Nicholls-Biondi Chair reflects MSK’s commitment to expanding patient access to cancer care and supporting ongoing research aimed at reducing cancer disparities that stem from racial, ethnic, cultural, or socioeconomic barriers.

The gift of $7 million from Ms. Nicholls and Mr. Biondi will also fund the establishment of the Nicholls-Biondi Diversity Clinical Scientist Fellowships for Academic Careers in Cancer Research. Clinical scientists contribute to the critical research that leads to the discovery of new drugs, and their work influences the future of clinical trials, therapies, and patient care. These fellowships will help recruit, train, and retain physician-scientists from groups that have long been underrepresented in science.

The Inaugural Incumbent

Carol Brown, MD, a gynecologic cancer surgeon at MSK, has been appointed the inaugural incumbent of the Nicholls-Biondi Chair. For more than 2 decades, Dr. Brown has provided high-quality, compassionate care to women with ovarian, uterine, cervical, and vulvar cancers at MSK. In addition, Dr. Brown has focused her career on the reduction and elimination of cancer health disparities experienced by medically underserved populations. Along with her appointment to the Nicholls-Biondi Chair, she has also been named MSK’s first Chief Health Equity Officer.

Carol Brown, MD

Carol Brown, MD

Dr. Brown said, “I’m honored to be named the inaugural incumbent of the Nicholls-Biondi Chair…. There is still much to learn about disparities in cancer care and how best to ensure every patient has access to high-quality care and optimal outcomes, regardless of their background, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to accelerate our understanding and solutions.” 


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