The City College of New York (CCNY) has a 150-year history of offering low-cost access to higher education to the residents of New York City. Located in Harlem, CCNY is home to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in a range of disciplines with considerable relevance to cancer research, in medicine, clinical psychology, biomedical engineering, biology, biochemistry, chemistry and applied physics. CCNY’s full-time faculty includes 145 minority group members. Among the strengths that CCNY brings to this Partnership, perhaps the most important is their diverse student population. CCNY draws most of its enrollment from Harlem and other areas of New York City with high concentrations of minorities. CCNY’s 9,494 undergraduates include 64.3 percent African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans; students come from 157 countries and speak 90 languages other than English. CCNY strives to provide its students with exceptional academic opportunities. It is nationally and internationally recognized as an institution with strong graduate and undergraduate programs of instruction and with excellent resources for basic and applied research in science and engineering. CCNY is the only public university in New York City that meets the stated criteria of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Research II university. In order to sustain this standard, CCNY provides an array of special NIH programs to support the development of minority scholars such as MARC/MBRS RISE. Major construction of two new science buildings is underway at CCNY, including a dedicated Cancer Research Unit, ensuring that Partnership faculty and students will be able to interact on a regular basis. CCNY has also launched the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies, with an emphasis on scholarship through the public service. This program offers the extraordinary virtue of mobilizing a diverse student population to engage in efforts to address cancer disparities very often in the very communities where they were born and raised.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is the world's oldest and largest private cancer center, having devoted more than a century to patient care and innovative research. In 2008, more than 22,000 patients were admitted, the total number of outpatient visits was 466,884, and there were 522 open clinical research protocols. One of MSKCC’s greatest strengths is the close collaboration between laboratory and clinical investigators, facilitating translation of research results. Another area of strength is MSKCC research training, which includes clinical research fellowships in virtually every area of oncology, as well as opportunities for graduate study for younger scientists. MSKCC is committed to reducing excess cancer burden experienced by minority and underserved patients in this country. This commitment is best represented by long-standing programs such as the Breast Examination Center of Harlem and MSKCC’s ongoing collaboration with the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention. Since the inception of the Partnership, MSKCC has undergone major expansion, adding greater depth and diversity to its research activities. New research units have markedly enlarged the cohort of translational investigators linking laboratory and clinical research. MSKCC has entered into new clinical and research partnerships with providers serving low-income minority and immigrant communities, including the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, the Queens Cancer Center, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. In 2004, MSKCC created an Office of Diversity Initiative, which offers major ongoing support to the Partnership.
Since 2002, our institutions have forged a strong working relationship founded on a spirit of openness and mutual benefit. During this period we have established joint programs for research and training, and have built the relationships and infrastructure necessary for sustained collaboration. Our Partnership affords a significant opportunity to engage a diverse student body in scientific training and cancer education programs through rigorous research, innovative service-learning strategies and close mentorship. Additionally, our outreach activities have served as the proving ground for intervention research to improve the health and quality of life of individuals and communities unduly burdened by cancer. Together, we continue to discover new ways to combine our complementary strengths and resources to address scientific problems, provide unique training opportunities, and meet the challenges of health disparities. By pooling our connections, our resources and our expertise, we continue to break new ground in addressing health disparities.