RATS Training at KU Cancer Center


Media Contact:  Danielle Burgess

Research Advocates Will Tour Labs, Meet Scientists at KU Cancer Center

Colorectal cancer researcher Dan Dixon, Ph. D. from University of Kansas Cancer Center will lead 2-day training for cancer survivors.

Alexandria, Va. – November 3, 2014 – The research advocates from Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) will spend time on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated KU Cancer Center campus Nov. 12-13 to gain a first-hand look at academic colorectal cancer research. The advocates, many of them survivors, will participate in lectures by experts in the field and tour research laboratories. KU’s colorectal cancer researcher, Dan Dixon, Ph.D., will lead the training.

The training is part of the Research Advocates Training and Support (RATS) program at Fight CRC. The program teaches advocates how to understand science so they, in turn, can be empowered to contribute directly to the research process.


“Our research advocates participate in the scientific process, bringing a collective patient perspective to the research process,” said Nancy Roach, founder of Fight CRC and the RATS program.


The training at the KU Cancer Center campus will be the first time RATS program participants have toured an NCI-designated cancer center , and the first tour the colorectal cancer researchers have hosted for survivors of the disease.


“Dr. Dixon is a true advocate for the cause, keeping the patient at the center of his work,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight CRC. “For many basic science researchers, they rarely interact and with patients face-to-face. This program is about bridging science to the community. We couldn’t do this without the support of colorectal cancer researchers at KU who are taking time to teach us about their work and engage with our group of survivors coming from across the country to participate.”


Academic researcher Dixon, who joined KU Cancer Center in [2012], has planned the training to spotlight the work of his colleagues at the research center and introduce them to advocates he’s worked alongside for the past several years at Fight CRC’s advocacy events.


“Working with Fight CRC and the RATS program has been wonderful,” said Dixon. “Seeing the advocates’ passion at events like Call-on Congress emphasizes the significant role advocates can play in the research process. They are a major voice in Washington, D.C. trying to get congressional support for CRC research. The event here at KU Cancer Center will give them a first-hand experience of an academic cancer center.”


In addition to Dr. Dixon, advocates will hear from other experts including: Dr. Roy Jensen, Director of the Cancer Center; Dr. Brooke Fridley; Dr. Danny Welch; Dr. Kim Engelman; Dr. Tomoo Iwakuma and Dr. Shrikant Anant.

The RATS training is made possible through the support of educational grants by Genomic Health, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Genentech.

To kick off the event, KU Cancer Center and Fight CRC will host a tweet chat on Mon., Nov. 10 at 11am CT. Follow along as the two groups, @KUCancerCenter and @FightCRC, tweet using the hashtag #ColonCancerAware

To learn more, visit FightColorectalCancer.org/research.


About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer is a leading national colorectal cancer nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Through patient education, advocacy, and research efforts the group spreads awareness and demands a cure for the second-leading killer in the United States. As the leading advocacy group, the organization serves as a resource for colorectal cancer patients, grassroots advocates, policy makers, medical professionals and health care providers. Learn more at http://www.FightColorectalCancer.org.



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