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SUNY Downstate Hosts Fifth Annual Cancer Health Disparities Symposium On Friday, March 6

Nationally-acclaimed experts to highlight strategies to bridge research and treatment disparities for vulnerable populations

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (March 4, 2020) – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, along with the College of Medicine, John Conley Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities, the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, Stony Brook University, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, are hosting the Fifth Annual Cancer Health Disparities Symposium.

Fifth Annual Cancer Health Disparities Forum
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Friday, March 6
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Alumni Auditorium

Nearly 200 researchers, clinicians, trainees, students, and members of the public are expected to attend the symposium, which will focus on research advances in understanding the biological and demographic factors that contribute to the prevalence of some forms of cancer in vulnerable populations, as well as opportunities for expanding colon cancer screening in the Brooklyn community.

Dr. Kevin Cassel, a researcher and professor from the University of Hawaii, will deliver a keynote address on the “Strategies for Working with Communities to Conduct Cancer Research.” Dr. Cassel’s research explores ways to implement effective cancer control interventions in communities hardest hit with cancer health disparities.

“Since its launch, the Cancer Health Disparities Symposium has served as a way to bring nationally-renowned experts and key partners to the Brooklyn community to share the latest advancements in cancer research and treatment, and move closer to eliminating biological and social barriers to cancer screening, treatment, and survival,” said Dr. Moro Salifu, Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate and Director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. “By bringing these groups together to engage in meaningful conversations, we are improving the healthcare of our greater Brooklyn community and beyond.”

Although the occurrence of cancer-related mortality rates is declining in the United States, disparities determined by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location still exist across the nation.

The symposium is free and open to physicians, scientists, nurses, trainees, students, and community members. Learning sessions will address colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and population cancer genetics, which addresses inherited genetic mutations that contribute to cancer.

For more information and to register for the Fifth Annual Cancer Health Disparities Symposium, visit



About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.