Initiative is part of the Winn Awards with the goal of increasing diversity in clinical trials and advancing equitable cancer research
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, together with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMS Foundation) and the national cancer cooperative groups today announced the first group of oncology physicians who have been selected for the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Leadership Award powered by Conquer Cancer’s EveryGrant® (Winn CILA-Onc: asco.org/winn-cila). This is a three-year career and leadership development program designed to provide clinical cancer investigators with advanced clinical trials knowledge, leadership skills, mentorship and sponsorship to succeed as independent clinical researchers, team members, and leaders.
“The Winn CILA is an exciting addition to the Winn Award Program portfolio,” said Robert A. Winn, MD, Director at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center. “It is critical that our scholars have a seat at the table beyond their time with the Career Development Award (Winn CDA). The Winn CILA provides an opportunity for selected Winn CDA graduates to help guide decisions about clinical research priorities at the national level.”
The first Winn CILA-Onc cohort consists of five physicians (referred to as Winn Investigators) who come from a range of oncology backgrounds and expertise. The training program begins in January 2024, and will be led by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and includes collaboration with members of the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). The program will provide salary support for the participants during their award term, connection with and mentoring through NCTN cooperative groups, and training to gain advanced clinical trials knowledge and leadership skills.
NCTN cooperative groups will provide networking and collaboration opportunities by assigning participants to a Core Committee and pairing them with a mentor who is an experienced clinical trialist within the cooperative group. This format will ensure that participants effectively apply the training received during the program. The overall goal is for each participant to acquire the requisite skills to effectively develop, implement and oversee a clinical trial sponsored by the NCTN cooperative group.
”We are excited to partner with the NCTN cooperative groups and the Winn Award Program to provide this exceptional opportunity for clinical investigators,” said Jamie Von Roenn, MD, FASCO, Vice President for Education, Science, and Professional Development at ASCO. “This program was designed to offer longitudinal support, through mentorship, coaching and sponsorship to maximize the growth and career development of program participants.”
The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program (Winn Award Program) was established in 2020 with a $100 million commitment by the BMS Foundation as part of its commitment to health equity, and to address the longstanding lack of diversity in clinical trials. The Winn Award Program is a five-year initiative to train and develop the next generation of community-oriented clinical trialists.
“The Winn Award Program exemplifies the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation’s commitment to health equity and more inclusive and diverse clinical trials,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “We are honored to introduce the first cohort of Winn CILA-Onc to hone the Winn Investigators’ leadership skills and look forward to the remarkable impact these physicians will have in transforming the clinical trial landscape to be a more inclusive, diverse representation of the real world.”
The Winn Award Program currently offers four awards:
- Winn Career Development Award (Winn CDA), a two-year program designed to support diverse early-stage investigator (ESI) physicians or those who have demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity in clinical trial research within their local communities; Applications for Cohort 4 will open January 2, 2024 (to learn more, visit diversityinclinicaltrials.org/winn-cda);
- The Winn Clinical Investigator Leadership Awards (Winn CILA), supported by the BMS Foundation, which are three-year career and leadership awards designed for oncology and cardiovascular graduates of the Winn CDA program; and
- Winn Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP), a six-week summer externship during which diverse medical students or medical students who have a demonstrated commitment to clinical trial diversity are provided an immersive experience in community-based clinical research.
The award recipients of the first cohort of Winn CILA-Onc and their assigned NCTN cooperative group are:
Fiorella Iglesias Cardenas, MD, MS
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Children’s Oncology Group
Luis Malpica Castillo, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
SWOG Cancer Research Network
Catherine Marshall, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University
ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
Oluwadamilola Oladeru, MD, MA, MBA
Mayo Clinic, Florida
Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology
Sherise Rogers, MD, MPH
University of Florida
Applications for Cohort 2 of the Winn CILA-Onc will launch in Spring 2024. To learn more about the Winn Award Program, visit diversityinclinicaltrials.org.
About the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation
The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, an independent charitable organization, aims to advance health equity for underserved communities. For nearly a quarter of a century, it has fearlessly ventured to help those burdened by serious diseases, from the African continent to China and across the Americas. The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation embraces innovative approaches that have the potential to reshape the health care system, forging alliances with government, nonprofit, academic and private sectors to ignite new possibilities in achieving health equity. In its therapeutic areas of focus, and in cross-cutting disciplines like diversity in clinical trials, the BMS Foundation is challenging norms to create more equitable and sustainable systems of healthcare delivery — and ultimately, meaningful change in the communities it serves.
For more information, visit Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (bms.com).