BMSF names diversity in clinical trials training program after Robert A Winn

BMSF names diversity in clinical trials training program after Robert A Winn

The groundbreaking, uniquely robust Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program is on track to train more than 500 individuals from diverse backgrounds by 2027

  • By IPP Bureau | April 11, 2022

The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), together with its partners, National Medical Fellowships (NMF) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), announced a new name for the US $ 100 million, five-year initiative launched in 2020 to increase diversity in clinical trials: The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program. Also, the program welcomed a donation of US $ 14 million over the next four years from new program supporter, Gilead Sciences.

The program, created as one of a number of commitments to health equity and diversity and inclusion made in 2020 by the BMSF and its donor Bristol Myers Squibb, has been named in honour of Robert A. Winn, M.D., Director, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University. Winn is the first African-American director of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centre, and the recipient of numerous honours and awards, such as the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences Program Lifetime Achievement Award. Serving as Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the BMSF Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program from its inception, Winn’s guidance was instrumental in shaping the program.

“We are proud and overjoyed that Dr. Winn has agreed to put his name on this program,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “He has been a tireless advocate for the goal of this program -- enabling people of colour and underserved populations to benefit more from clinical research. Throughout his distinguished career, he has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to community-engaged research focused on eliminating health inequities. It is largely due to his leadership, expertise, and passion that the program became a reality.”

“I am honored to be such a small part of a big program that will have tremendous impact for years to come,” said Winn.

“We congratulate Dr. Winn on this richly deserved honor,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “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. It is fitting to name this exciting, impactful program after him, and we were pleased to celebrate him and our partnership with BMSF and NMF yesterday at the AACR Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony in New Orleans.”

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