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Adeyinka O. Laiyemo, MD, MPH

March 02, 2015

Describe your research interests and how you chose this area of research.

My research interest is colorectal cancer prevention and reducing colorectal cancer disparities among vulnerable populations. I chose this field because we do know that screening interventions do reduce mortality from colorectal cancer, but underserved populations have low screening rates. Therefore, I focus on identifying factors that increase disparities in colorectal cancer burden and design interventions to eliminate them.

How does GHUCCTS help you to achieve your research goals and advance your career in clinical and translational research? How will the CTSA program help to advance knowledge and treatments for patients with the disease(s) you study?

GHUCCTS provided me with a nurturing environment to develop my ideas. My mentors are very experienced and they guide me scientifically and professionally to continue in the path of research with the goal of becoming a successful, independent and well-funded researcher. The CTSA program will help advance the intervention to reduce colorectal cancer disparities that I am studying into community practice through the community engagement segment of the program.

Why is it important to have both disciplinary and ethnic/cultural diversity in medical research? How does diversity contribute to your research? How does diversity enhance scientific discovery? (Examples from your own career would be particularly useful)

It is important to have diversity in medical research. This is particularly important for vulnerable populations who suffer greater burden of diseases that can be ameliorated with relatively simple intervention. A prime example of this is colorectal cancer. African Americans have the highest burden from this potentially preventable disease. It is much easier for African American care providers and researchers to reach this segment of the population. Understanding the complex circumstances and cultural challenges associated with healthcare delivery to this population will drive the interventions that can be acceptable to this population.

How does clinical translational research benefit our communities, both directly and indirectly? (Examples from your own research program would be particularly useful)

In my research, we are investigating whether using a patient’s own social network can improve the uptake of out-patient colonoscopy. If proven to be effective, this can readily be implemented at minority-serving institutions as a relatively inexpensive intervention that can improve colorectal cancer screening among African Americans. The overall goal will be to reduce the burden of colorectal cancer among African Americans.