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Florida Prostate Cancer Health Disparities Symposium

Developing a Research Agenda for Blacks of African Ancestry

Presented by University of Florida and Florida A&M University


Friday, Sept. 27th, 2013
Symposium Agenda


Tallahassee, Fla.

Symposium Goal:

Increase National Institutes of Health, department of defense, and other federal agencies’ funding targeting prostate cancer disparities in Fla.

Symposium Outcome:

Multi-institutional collaborative extramural grants, including U-series, P-series, and R-series grants focused on prostate cancer disparities in Fla.

Nominations for Meeting Invitation:

This symposium will assemble 25 prostate cancer disparity leaders in Fla. to develop a research agenda and focused  multidisciplinary grants addressing prostate cancer disparities. It is by invitation only. Nominations for meeting invitation (including self nominations) listing accomplishments in the area of prostate cancer disparities should be sent by May 31, 2013 to

Symposium Chairs:

DrOdedina_HeadShotFolakemi Odedina, Ph.D. – Folakemi Odedina, Ph.D., will serve as the UF principal investigator/project director for the Minority Oncology Research and Education program. Her position at UF is professor in the colleges of pharmacy and medicine, and associate director of health disparities for the UF Shands Cancer Center. She is also the founding chair of the National Cancer Institute Epidemiology and Genomics research program Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium and the North America vice president for the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer. In 2009, her leadership in health disparities was recognized by the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy and the Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists (ABHP) when she was awarded the Inaugural (1st) Leadership Award for health disparities. In May 2010, she was appointed by Dr. David Guzick, UF senior vice president for health affairs and chief executive officer of UF&Shands, to represent UF on the national Health Disparities Education, Awareness, Research & Training (HDEART) Consortium. She has a global consortium focused on understanding the burden of prostate cancer disparities in Black men of West African ancestry, and developing tailored and targeted community-centered interventions to eliminate prostate cancer disparities among United States black men. She has organized and successfully conducted multiple international cancer conferences, including the Biennial Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities in Black Men Conference.

Odedina’s research program focuses on the predictors of health disparities and cost-effective, community-based behavioral interventions to improve the health of minority populations. She has directed over 30 research projects, including research training and education programs. Her direct research training/education experiences includes:  directing (as principal investigator) the Department of Defense award – FAMU Center for Minority Prostate Cancer Training and Research (CMPC), which comprised a trans-disciplinary team of clinical, behavioral and basic scientists; serving as associate center director and research training and education core co-director for the Moffitt/University of South Florida Center for Equal Health funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; and directing (as principal investigator) the ongoing Florida ReTOOL program funded by the department of defense.

ReamsR. Renee Reams, PhD – R. Renee Reams, Ph.D., a  biochemist, started her prostate cancer investigations in 2005 as a funded pilot project investigator on the FAMU Department of Defense Minority Prostate Cancer Training and Research Center  Grant.(principal investigator/project director: FT Odedina). Her department of defense pilot study looked at the microarray comparison of gene expression differences in prostate tumors in African-American and Caucasian-American men in order to identify gene signature(s) that contributes to aggressive prostate cancers in African Americans. (Reams, et. al. Infect Agent Cancer, 2009, Feb 10:4 Suppl 1:S3). The rationale for Reams pilot project study is that there are no tests or biomarkers that will distinguish prostate cancers that are potentially aggressive and life-threatening from those that are clinically insignificant. Bio-informatic interrogation of her gene list revealed involvement of ABC gene(s) family in prostate cancer progression. (Reams, et. al. 2011 Infect Agent Cancer. 2011 Sep 23;6 Suppl 2:S1). Reams continues work in her research niche:  Understanding the Genetics of prostate cancer aggressiveness in African-American males with national and international collaborators.

She is a founding member the National Cancer Institute-endorsed Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CapTC); a member of the African Organization for Training In Cancer and the African Caribbean Consortium (AC3). She has served as scientific co-chair of the Science of Global Prostate Cancer Health Disparity in Black Men.  Reams worked with to draft the first ever Florida Health Disparities Research Agenda.

At her home institution, Florida A&M University, she is professor and section leader of medicinal chemistry. To date, she has trained three Ph.D.; three master of science students; provided or facilitated the hands-on research experiences for more than 60 undergraduate research trainees. In addition, she has prior experiences as principal investigator for the National Institute for Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ARCH grant (#1 S11ES011182-05/ ARCH: Advanced Cooperative Research in Environmental Health); program director for the Florida A&M National Institute of General Medical Sciences/Minority Biomedical Research Support (#GM008111) grant, and program administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration Centers of Excellence grant (DHHS/HRSA#5D34HP04018). Her three goals are to contribute to: the growth and development of minority cancer  health disparity scientists; the reduction of prostate cancer health disparity in men of African descent and the promotion of  cancer advocacy training in neighborhoods/countries/continents affected by prostate cancer.

Meeting Coordinator:

Pressey2Shannon Pressey, MSShannon Pressey, M.S., is the research coordinator for the UF pharmaceutical outcomes & policy department. She graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management and master’s degree in pharmaceutical outcomes in 2009. She has managed health disparity research projects for over three years. Her experiences include teaching pharmacy students, coordinating national/international conferences, research project management, minority men recruitment, and statewide data coordination.


Click here to download and print the Florida Prostate Cancer Health Disparities Symposium Agenda.