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BMS Foundation announces Robert A Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program

The $100m initiative was started in 2020 to increase diversity in clinical trials

BMS

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), the National Medical Fellowships (NMF) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) have revealed a new name for its initiative to increase clinical trial diversity as The Robert A Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program.

The $100m, five-year initiative was started in 2020 as one of a variety of commitments made towards health equity and diversity and inclusion by the BMSF and its patron, Bristol Myers Squibb.

As a new supporter of the programme, Gilead Sciences will donate $14m over the next four years.

Robert A Winn is the first African-American director of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centre. He has received numerous honours and awards, including the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences Program Lifetime Achievement Award.

He has also served as Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the BMSF Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program since it was started, offering instrumental guidance in shaping the programme.

The Robert A Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program includes two awards. The Robert A Winn Career Development Award is presented to early-stage investigator physicians who are from diverse backgrounds and are committed to increasing diversity in clinical trials. The second, the Robert A Winn Clinical Investigator Pipeline Program Award, is for medical students who are under-represented in the field.

BMSF has committed to support 250 Winn Career Development Awards and 250 Winn Pipeline Awards, alongside further backing from Gilead Sciences, pledging its commitment to support ten of each award per year over the next four years.

Commenting on Winn’s contributions, John Damonti, president of Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, said: “He has been a tireless advocate for the goal of this programme, enabling people of colour and underserved populations to benefit more from clinical research.”

Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR, added: “The AACR and the cancer research community as a whole have benefited greatly from his leadership on issues of diversity, equity and community engagement.

“His innovative efforts are helping to transform cancer research into a more inclusive field of investigation that supports minority scientists and physicians and understands the urgency of addressing the disparities that have impacted underserved communities for far too long.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

14th April 2022

From: Healthcare

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