Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has received a $1.6 million, 5-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to support the Rutgers Youth Enjoy Science (RUYES) Program. RUYES seeks to increase the diversity of the biomedical, cancer research workforce to reduce cancer disparities in New Jersey and across the United States. This program utilizes innovative approaches and newly established partnerships both within Rutgers and in the surrounding community to provide RUYES participants a comprehensive learning experience in cancer research, career development, and community engagement.
Sunita Chaudhary, PhD
RUYES engages underrepresented minority undergraduate and high school students in cutting-edge cancer research, curriculum support, and professional development activities for 10 weeks per summer for 2 consecutive years at Rutgers Cancer Institute. Additionally, teachers from schools with students from underrepresented backgrounds will engage in basic, clinical, or population-based cancer research for 8 weeks during two summers and receive support in designing innovative curricula to take back to their classrooms. Cancer-related outreach activities will also connect program participants with schools and families in their communities.
Nurturing and Mentoring Youth
“We are very enthusiastic about this funding mechanism, as it strengthens our commitment to nurturing and mentoring youth from underrepresented backgrounds. Through the RUYES program, we leverage the robust educational and outreach resources of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to successfully train the next generation of a diverse cancer research and health-care workforce,” noted Sunita Chaudhary, PhD, Director of Research Education at Rutgers Cancer Institute and leader of the program.
“Hands-on learning opportunities in a unique environment such as the Rutgers Cancer Institute often fuel a great desire in these students to pursue a career in an area they never could have imagined just by reading a textbook alone,” she added.