22nd Annual MVTCP Symposium

On Saturday, February 25, the Meharry-Vanderbilt-Tennessee State University Cancer Partnership (MVTCP) hosted the 22nd Annual MVTCP Symposium entitled “Cancer Health Disparities: From Bench to Bedside to Community.” 

Faculty members from Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee State University, and members of the Nashville community joined together at Meharry’s West Basic Sciences Building to hear compelling presentations and personal testimonies. Dr. Clayton C. Yates, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University and Tuskegee University served as the keynote speaker. 

The Symposium focused on the topic of cancer health equity and highlighted how access to care, as well as differences in social determinants of health, contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes, particularly in marginalized and underserved communities. 

The Symposium included a Keynote Address from Dr. Clayton C. Yates, John R. Lewis Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University and Director for Translational Health Disparities and Global Health Equity Research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Yates engaged the audience in discussion on how to diversify the patient population and effectively target people with the right medical treatment through his presentation entitled: Immuno-Oncology Targets in Patients with African Ancestry

Other speakers included Dr. Jennifer Erves from the Meharry Medical College, who discussed the relationship between HPV vaccine uptake and hesitancy; Dr. Richard Garvin from Tennessee State University, who outlined ways behavioral scientists can assist in patient advocacy and wellness in cancer research and care; and Dr. Eden Biltibo from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who presented an overview of racial disparities that exist in multiple myeloma patients. 

Two community members, Judith McCoy and Tasneem Tewogbola, served as “Mission Moment” Speakers, providing Symposium attendees with moving anecdotes and a necessary perspective as cancer survivors. 

Students from Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Tennessee State University were able to participate in a poster presentation and judging session, gaining constructive feedback from judges and Symposium attendees.

Overall, the 22nd MVTCP Symposium connected faculty, staff, and students from Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Tennessee State University with community members and medical professionals across the state of Tennessee. The Symposium provided valuable insights into the importance of addressing health disparities in cancer research and the challenges individuals from underserved communities face in terms of access to cancer care. 

Check out the slideshow below for photos from the MVTCP Symposium!

For more information about the Meharry-Vanderbilt-Tennessee State Cancer Partnership (MVTCP), visit mvtcp.org or stopcancertogether.org.