Each April, we recognize National Minority Health Month (NMHM) because of its direct relevance to us at the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (NCI CRCHD).

This year’s NMHM theme, Partnering for Health Equity, brings attention to the need for individuals, institutions, and communities to work together to address social determinants of health, including those related to access to educational, economic, and job opportunities and the quality of education and job training.

At CRCHD, we are committed to building a diverse workforce for the biomedical sciences—a critical step in reducing the burden of cancer for an increasingly diverse America. A diverse workforce broadens the research “lens” to include new viewpoints essential for advancing cancer and cancer disparities knowledge, and also can help address some of the issues related to health equity and access to quality education and jobs.

Through a variety of programs and funding mechanisms, CRCHD facilitates partnering, trains qualified underrepresented individuals beginning as young as middle school and continuing through independent cancer research, and brings researchers and mentors together. One of CRCHD’s signature programs is the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE).

Initiated in 2001, PACHE is a program that enables institutions serving underserved health disparity populations and underrepresented students (ISUPS) and NCI-designated Cancer Centers (CCs) to train scientists from diverse backgrounds in cancer research and to effectively deliver cancer advances to underserved communities.

Inspired by this year’s National Minority Health Month theme, we want to celebrate some of the stellar research being conducted by PACHE students, trainees, early-stage investigators, and PACHE investigators. We invited PACHE scholars and investigators to share their research, their stories, and their PACHE experiences. Throughout the month, we will feature their stories here on the blog and on our social media accounts. We invite you to check back often and hope you are as inspired by these scholars and investigators as we are.

This article was originally published on April 17, 2018, by the National Cancer Institute. It is republished with permission.