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Sylvester Leaders Meet With White House Officials, Agencies About Reducing Cancer

Building A Healthier World

Researchers presented their approach to lowering cancer rates.

A delegation of leaders from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, visited the nation’s capital late last year to share some of the groundbreaking research happening at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)- designated cancer center.

The group visited the White House and several other federal agencies, as part of a renewed focus on President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. The initiative aims to cut American cancer death rates in half within the next 25 years.

“This trip reflects a recognition of our ability at Sylvester to contribute to cancer knowledge on the national stage,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., executive dean of research at the Miller School of Medicine. In 2015, Dr. Nimer, the Oscar de la Renta endowed chair of cancer research, met with then-Vice President Biden during the creation of the Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Sylvester's Firefighter Cancer Initiative has 22 active projects, 11 completed projects and 6 national projects

At the White House, Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., vice provost of research and scholarship for the University of Miami and director of its Firefighter Cancer Initiative (FCI), explained some of the work that the FCI has been doing to understand and reduce the cancer burden on firefighters. She also spoke about research from Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., deputy director of the FCI and assistant provost for research integrity at the Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Caban-Martinez’s involvement in the World Health Organization team helped reclassify firefighting as a carcinogenic risk profession last summer.

“These visits and advocacy trips serve as an amazing way to highlight the great work of UM’s physicians, research and cutting-edge advancements,” said Shreya Kuntawala, director of government relations for the university and UHealth.