The AORTIC meeting at AACR took place on Sunday April 2nd 2017
between 5:30 to 8:30 at the Washington Marriott at Metro Centre.
The program objective was discuss/propose strategies to overcome the infrastructure and human capacity challenges of conducting basic, translational, and health services research in Africa. Another objective was to provide a networking forum that will connect African investigators with cancer scientists in North America.
Dr. Christopher Williams’ presentation focused on the history of AORTIC and its evolution into the premier organization for cancer in Africa. He provided his thoughts on the future of the organization. An area of debate was whether the organization has the capacity to engage in cancer clinical trials design and conduction and whether its role is primarily in facilitating collaboration in research. The audience also discussed the positive role of the organization in the support and mentorship of young emerging researchers in the continent.
Mr. Mevlin Foote from the Constituency for Africa’s Advocacy for Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure in Africa discussed the recent launching of the African Centers for Disease Control in Ethiopia. He elaborated on possible strategies to raise the profile of cancer within the African CDC. He also shared his experience in fund raising and the role of the African Diaspora.
Dr. Ahmed Sultan from the University of Alexandra, Egypt discussed the role of African scientists in research training and South-South collaboration. He emphasized that the continent is capable and ready for relevant and cutting edge basic science research in cancer.
The group also celebrated the African AACR travel awardee. Each presented their award winning research to the group in 5-10minutes. The awardee discussed the challenges and affordances of their research experience as well as their future aspirations.