Citizen Scientist cancer research curriculum to be presented at national conference

UF researchers will have the opportunity to share the cancer research curriculum component of the Citizen Scientist program at a national conference in Washington, D.C., this December.

Janet Brishke, M.P.H.

Janet Brishke, M.P.H., research coordinator III at the OneFlorida+ Clinical Research Consortium, will present two abstracts at the 15th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, cohosted by the National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth and set for Dec. 11-14.

The UF Citizen Scientist Program is administered jointly by the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the OneFlorida+ Clinical Research Consortium. The program helps to bridge the gap between scientists and community members. 

The UF Health Cancer Center saw the strengths in this approach to research and sought to replicate it in its research programs. The abstracts describe the results and process of that initiative to create a companion course to the CTSI fundamentals course.

“What made this second course unique was that during the needs assessment process with UF Health Cancer Center administrators, researchers and Citizen Scientists, it was clear that every Citizen Scientist had some sort of personal experience with cancer,” Brishke said. “The Citizen Scientists were interested in being more involved in projects through the UF Health Cancer Center, but they needed more context before joining research teams, similar to the first curriculum. With this course, we took an approach that was respectful of those lived experiences and allowed for reflection alongside the traditional didactic learning modalities.”

The abstracts are titled “Improving cancer research through empathic instructional design approaches” and “Applying learning health system strategies to cancer research: the citizen scientist cancer research curriculum.”

Coauthors on the abstracts are Zachary Jones, a student in UF’s Master of Public Health program, and Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., chair of the department of health outcomes and biomedical informatics, codirector of the CTSI and associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement for the UF Health Cancer Center.

Jones is also one of the Citizen Scientists who helped create the course and took the training as part of his work to receive his Citizen Scientist certification in cancer research. He will also attend the conference and help present the work.

“We are very excited to be able to bring a member of the community to the research audience to help disseminate the results,” Brishke said.

Learn more about the Citizen Scientist program cancer research curriculum.

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