Charles Drew University of Medicine And Science - Division of Cancer Research And Training

Charles Drew University (CDU) is a private nonprofit, secular, minority-serving medical and health science institution established in 1966 as a postgraduate medical school to help society’s poorest communities. Established when California Governor’s McCone’s Commission cited poor health status and diminished access to healthcare as among the major factors fomenting the 1965 civil unrest in Watts, the university’s mission is to conduct education and research in the context of community service in order to train physicians and allied health professionals to provide care with excellence and compassion, especially to underserved populations. CDU, which continues to serve as the only academic health sciences center for the area’s 1.5 million people, is also the only designated minority-serving health-sciences university in a county of more than 10 million people, 70 percent of whom are from minority communities. Defined as a Minority Serving Institution, the university’s College of Medicine (COM) is a Historically Black Graduate Institution. The university is a charter member of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools.

CDU and Cancer Research: In 1995, CDU initiated a structured cellular and molecular oncology research program. Lead by Dr. Jay Vadgama, the research program has remained continuously funded from competitive research grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other national grant sources. In 2002, the Department of Internal Medicine established a formal Division of Cancer Research and Training under the leadership of Dr. Jay Vadgama. This development complemented an evolving partnership with UCLA, and it attested to a long-term focus in cancer research, training, education, and treatment. Soon after, CDU and UCLA established a formal, partnered breast cancer research training program to enable promising CDU faculty and postdoctoral fellows to obtain the critical experience and training necessary for independent funding. Since then, CDU and UCLA have collaborated on several projects which have been funded by more than $14 million in grants from federal institutions.

Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities was established through the Division of Cancer Research and Training in 2009 through a grant from the National Institute of Health. Numerous research projects are currently being conducted by the Center’s faculty and staff, including basic laboratory research, community outreach and engagement and clinical trials activities.

Events and News

Division of Cancer Research and Training & Cancer Cluster


Cancer Journal Club:

"Multiplatform Analysis of 12 Cancer Types Reveals Molecular Classification within and across Tissues of Origin"

Hoadley et al. Cell 2014 Aug 14;158(4):929

Presented by:

Ms. Cheryl Araniego

Division of Cancer Research & Training

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

TIME: Monday, September 22, 2014 12-2pm

LOCATION: Augustus Hawkins Building, Conference Room 3071

1720 E. 120th St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

For more information on this conference or if you are interested in future presentations please contact Dr. May Santiago Ong at 323.563.5936 or


Undergraduate Cancer Research Training Program (UCRTP):

Track 1 Summer Internship May 19,2014

Track 2 Summer Internship June 16, 2014

The Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities at the Charles Drew University (CDU) and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA (UCLA) are hosting a great summer internship opportunity for undergraduate students.

The Undergraduate Cancer Research Training Program (UCRTP) is a summer internship to train undergraduates in technical and critical thinking skills in a laboratory, clinical, or community setting. The goal of the UCRTP is to ensure that each undergraduate student acquires the knowledge, skills, and attitude to become a proficient researcher in cancer research. Each student intern acquires training by working on a hypothesis-driven scientific research project, at CDU or UCLA, alongside a designated mentor during the course of 8-12 weeks. A stipend is provided to students in the program.

For more Information and the Application, go to our Undergraduate Opportunities Page (See Education and Training Tab) overview application

Or visit us on Facebook (CDU Division of Cancer Research and Training).

Deadline for UCRTP Applications has passed (March 1, 2014).