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Cancer conversations

“Let’s Talk Cancer” will be held on Friday, May 15 in Walter Light Hall from 9 am – 2 pm.

Kingston high school students are visiting Queen’s to talk about cancer.

Together with the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI), Let’s Talk Science, and the Kingston branch of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Research Information Outreach Team (RIOT), students will spend the day learning about cancer biology and research.

Organizer Mathieu Crupi hopes the Let’s Talk Cancer symposium will inspire students to take an interest in cancer research.

“Students in high school are often not exposed to the topic of cancer, even though it’s a disease that likely has or will affect them directly or indirectly at some point,” says Mr. Crupi, a PhD candidate in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine. “Let’s Talk Cancer will give the students first hand exposure to cancer research and some of the work that goes on locally. It might even inspire them with a possible career path.”

Members of the Kingston RIOT team, from left to right: Saad Islam, Piriya Yoganathan, Dr. Stacy Visser-Grieve, James MacLeod, Kelly Brennan, and Mathieu Crupi.

As part of the symposium, students will hear from representatives of the local Canadian Cancer Society and Queen’s Cancer Research Institute, as well as cancer survivor Emma MacLean. This will be followed by a keynote address on cancer biology and childhood clinical trials from Dr. Janet Dancey, Director of Clinical Translational Research at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group and Professor of Oncology at Queen’s.

In the afternoon, students will participate in sessions focused on cancer subtypes, led by a panel of cancer researchers from Queen’s. Students will also hear about the transition from high school to post-secondary education and a variety of career paths at a workshop, where a panel of researchers with a wide range of experiences will speak. Lastly, students will receive a tour of the Anatomy Museum.

“We want to reinforce to the students that there are many different subtypes of cancer and each one is a different disease in itself which may have different implications and treatments” says Mr. Crupi. “This is also a great chance for students to ask any questions they might have and perhaps get involved in volunteer work. Forming these relationships early on is so important, especially with young researchers.”