bridge masseyOn April 25 and 26, 2024, Massey was invited to present on our BRIDGE postdoctoral fellowship at a UPRCCC and Partnership Programs Retreat ahead of the 2nd UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center Scientific Congress: Advances in Cancer Care, Research and Health Policy in Puerto Rico.

Other attendees to the Partnership Programs Retreat included the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and MD Anderson Cancer Center, who are also UPRCCC partners, along with H. Nelson Aguila, D.V.M., and Sandra L. San Miguel-Majors, Dr.P.H., M.S., from the National Cancer Institute. Both of our current BRIDGE postdoctoral fellows, Xavier Bittman, Ph.D. (pictured bottom), and Lorraine Vélez Torres, Ph.D., presented on their experiences at Massey and as the Cohort 1 pioneers in this program, with their Massey mentors J. Chuck Harell, Ph.D., and Jennifer Jordan, Ph.D., M.S., in attendance. Katherine Y. Tossas, Ph.D., M.S. (pictured top right), moderated a session on innovation, inclusion and diversity in the cancer continuum. Arnethea L. Sutton, Ph.D. (pictured top left), presented a talk during this session on addressing the impact of social drivers of health on participation in clinical trials. Bittman also presented a poster on his research for which he won first place in the Basic Science Research category. 

I had the opportunity to present on the BRIDGE program and other aspects of the Massey-UPRCCC collaboration. As the team science research projects manager, I can say that this collaboration is exciting; it seeks to enhance relations between our two institutions and develop academic and cultural exchanges to advance the discovery of new knowledge, creative expression and innovation; enhance teaching and learning; and work together toward the internationalization and diversification of higher education and cancer research at our respective institutions. It's already been fruitful just one year into the program! I look forward to seeing what our continued efforts will bring to the Massey and UPRCCCC communities. 

Rosuany (Rose) Vélez Acevedo, Ph.D., M.S.
Team science research projects manager
VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center