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Lurie Cancer Center’s Sarki Abdulkadir honored by NCI’s CURE program

Sarki A. Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, Co-Director of Global Health and head of the Leadership Program of the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and John T. Grayhack, MD, Professor of Urological Research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, was honored today at the Celebrating 21 Years of the CURE Program Recognition Ceremony (the “Recognition Ceremony”) for his achievements through the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, an initiative of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The CURE program offers unique training and career development opportunities to enhance and increase diversity in the cancer and cancer health disparities research workforce. “We are thrilled to celebrate the CURE Program’s accomplishments over the past two decades,” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, Director of the Lurie Cancer Center. “We share the NCI’s commitment to increasing the diversity of cancer research teams and are excited about Dr. Abdulkadir’s vision to advance heath equity.”

CURE, a program of NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD), provides extensive funding opportunities for training, education, and outreach to build and sustain a pipeline of underrepresented cancer and cancer health disparities researchers. By offering funding through a continuum of competitive research funding opportunities, CURE supports promising candidates interested in cancer and cancer health disparities research from middle school through junior investigator levels.

The Recognition Ceremony, held at the NIH campus in Bethesda, honored the achievements of 26 of the program’s most accomplished current and former CURE scholars in five categories: Emerging Scholars, Pacesetters, Service to the Profession, Mentorship, and Lifetime Achievement. An additional category, CURE Champions, recognized supporters of the CURE program and its scholars.

Dr. Abdulkadir was recognized as a CURE Mentorship Honoree, a scholar who has demonstrated long-standing commitment to mentoring and training new scholars. He was supported by a Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development (K08) Award to Promote Diversity and credits the CURE program for his successful transition into an independent cancer research career. The mentoring, guidance, and motivation he received through the CURE program and its program staff were instrumental in providing a foundation for him to secure his first R01 application upon first submission. In turn, Dr. Abdulkadir has consistently supported and mentored other students and trainees over the years.

Dr. Abdulkadir studies molecular mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development and recurrence and uses this knowledge to devise targeted therapies. His work has been continuously funded by several grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 2002. He serves on several NCI and NIH review committees and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. 

Dr. Abdulkadir obtained combined undergraduate and medical degrees from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and a PhD in immunology from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a combined clinical pathology residency and postdoctoral research training program at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. 

About the CURE program

About CURE at the Lurie Cancer Center

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