csu-icm Mission

According to the most recent studies, the average mortality across all cancer types remains at over 30%. Several primary clinical hurdles remain including therapy resistance, metastasis and early detection of tumors at more visceral sites. Moreover, high mortality for many malignancies correlates strongly with low socio-economic status - communities also commonly underrepresented in the cancer research community.

The California State University – Interdisciplinary Cancer Meeting (CSU-ICM) will address these challenges via a biennial, one-day symposium/conference designed to promote diversity across research disciplines, participant demographics and institutions while being grounded and guided by scientific leaders and cancer research experts.

The overarching purpose of the CSU-ICM is to enhance interdisciplinary exchanges that generate innovative solutions to these central problems in cancer biology and enhance diversity within the oncology research community.

The meeting is comprised of five unique sub-session activities including: 1) a keynote lecture by a world-renowned cancer researcher (the 2020 keynote speaker will be Dr. Carlos Arteaga – former AACR President and Director of the Harold C. Simmons UT Southwestern Cancer Center), 2) a cancer survivor and cancer research advocate talk (the 2020 survivor/advocate lecture will be delivered by Ms. Michele Rakoff), 3) four short-talk sessions chaired by discipline-specific faculty experts designed to provide selected faculty and trainee attendees the opportunity to present 10- or 15-minute talks about their ongoing work, 4) an open lunch, poster and networking session, and 5) a faculty flash-talk session consisting of six 3-minute research interest overview talks by faculty from within the California State University (CSU) system.

Since most CSU institutions serve underrepresented minorities and students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, this meeting will increase diversity in the cancer research community by fostering inter-institutional collaborations and enable research one, Ph.D.-granting institutions to interact with the diverse and intellectually-gifted CSU trainee community.

Conference aims include: 1) To develop transformative solutions to hurdles in oncology including early diagnosis, therapy resistance, metastasis and racial disparities; 2) To promote scientific teamwork and interdisciplinary approaches to cancer research by bringing together trainees and faculty in the life and non-life sciences; and 3) To engage underrepresented trainees and develop partnerships across institutions to increase diversity in cancer research in order to foster creative approaches to ongoing hurdles in cancer research.