About CDRN

The Cancer Disparities Research Network (CDRN) is an active group of cancer health disparities researchers from academic institutions in 15 states.  Our mission is:

  • To advance the science of cancer health disparities
  • To contribute to the next generation of cancer health disparities researchers
  • To achieve measurable reductions in cancer health disparities

The CDRN represents Region 4 of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Geographic Management and Biospecimens Management Programs (GMaP and BMaP) developed and funded by NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) to support the efficient regional management of cancer health disparities research and training.  (Note: Although the BMaP program ceased being funded as of September 2013, many institutions involved in BMaP remain active in the CDRN.)


Geographic Management Program (GMaP)

The Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities’ (CRCHD’s) GMaP initiative, launched in 2009 with American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, aims to build strong regional “hubs” of cancer health disparities research and training with the ultimate goal to reduce cancer health disparities.  Built on a model of collaboration and partnership, the GMaP initiative facilitates regional information- and resource-sharing, capacity-building (through training) and joint research ventures while also linking CRCHD’s four flagship health disparities programs — the Community Networks Program (CNP), the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE), the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE), and the Patient Navigation Research Program (PNRP).  GMaP leverages regional strengths to, for example, recruit diverse populations for research projects, provide training and research opportunities for up-and-coming health disparities investigators, and disseminate successful outreach and education projects across the region.  A Biospecimen Management Program (BMaP) also was part of the GMaP Initiative.  Its focus was on biospecimen collection from minority and underserved communities.

Initially, the G/BMaP initiatives took place in six regions.  Each region had two administrative lead institutions, one for GMaP and one for BMaP.  The GMaP Coordinating Office has been and continues to be based in the Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities at Fox Chase Cancer Center, led by Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH.  The BMaP administrative lead was Northwestern University led by Melissa Simon, MD.  Subsequently, Regions 1 and 2 combined, and funding for the BMaP effort was discontinued, though its investigators and research efforts continue to be strong contributors to the overall GMaP network.

Cancer Disparities Research Network (CDRN)

CDRN is the self-selected name of the Region 4 GMaP/BMaP initiatives, which, by member choice, has chosen to focus its efforts on increasing minority participation in biospecimen and cancer related research.  In 2009 when the name and focus was selected, the CDRN comprised the eight states of Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.  As of January 2014, an additional seven states have become part of our region.  These include Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wisconsin.   There are now 27 institutions from those 15 states involved in the CDRN.  The administrative lead for the Region 4 GMaP initiative is Fox Chase Cancer Center in Pennsylvania.  The administrative lead for the BMaP effort was Northwestern University in Illinois. Despite losing funding in 2013, the BMaP administrative core and partners remain an integral part of the current CDRN.

Currently, the CDRN consists of community-engaged researchers, Continuing Umbrella of Research (CURE) trainees, basic scientists, biospecimen experts, pathologists, bioinformatics researchers and community health educators from 27 institutions.  While many of the current institutions are engaged in one of the CRCHD’s signature health disparities programs noted on the “home” page or are otherwise funded by NCI, individuals from other institutions who are interested in cancer health disparities issues are welcome to become part of the network.  Current members are shown in the following table.

Researcher Profiles

Click here to view our list of Researcher Profiles

CDRN Members

To add your name, please click the orange “Join Now” button at the top of the navigation column.



Principal Investigator(s)

Boston University
Tracy Battaglia
City College of New York
New York
Karen Hubbard
Columbia University
New York
Mary Beth Terry & Parisa Tehranifar
Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
Karen Emmons
Fox Chase Cancer Center Temple Health
J Robert Beck, Linda Fleisher, Nestor Esnaola
Hartford Hospital (NCCCP)
Andrew Saldner & Devon Latney
Indiana University
Victoria Champion
Karmanos Cancer Center (Wayne State University)
Terrance Albrecht
Lincoln University
Anna Hull
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Judith Kaur
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York
Tim Ahles & Francesca Gany
Mercy Medical Center (NCCCP)
Richard Deming
Northeastern Illinois University
Moira Stuart & Marian Gidean
Northwestern University
Melissa Simon, Julian Schink, Raymond Bergan, Warren Kibbe, June McKoy, Marla Clayman
Ohio State University
Electra Paskett & Peter Shields
Penn State University Hershey
Eugene Lengerich
Purdue University
Sulma Mohammed
John T. Vucurevich Regional Cancer Care Institute, Rapid City Regional Hospital
South Dakota
Daniel Petereit
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
New York
Deb Erwin
Temple University
Grace Ma
Tufts University
Karen Freund
University of Chicago
Karen Kim
University of Illinois at Chicago
Beth Calhoun
University of Massachusetts Boston
Adán Colon Carmona
Rutgers – Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Jersey
Shawna Hudson
University of Pennsylvania
Tim Rebbeck
University of Wisconsin at Carbone
Alex Adams