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Cancer Health Services and Disparities Research

Summer 2023

Project Background

Much of our group’s research examines system level problems that result in delivery of low-value care or contribute to health disparities. Undergraduate students will select from a portfolio of projects that examine differences in access, social support, socio-economic status and opioid abuse as contributors to disparities in outcomes among vulnerable populations. We will then focus efforts on disseminating research through a mentored experience that emphasizes scientific writing and presentation with additional exposure to experiences across the research continuum from project inception to publication.

This project is funded by the Research Experiences to Advance the Careers of HBCU Undergraduates at the University of Utah (REACH U2) program, which is co-directed by Dr. Kola Okuyemi of University of Utah and Dr. Ray Samuel of North Carolina A&T. Applicants must be North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University students.

Student Role

Our research group has multiple projects that are ready for dissemination. The primary role for students working with our group is to write about our group’s research findings. This includes writing scientific abstracts, papers and posters. In addition, interested students are provided with opportunities to shadow in a clinical setting including in the operating room and outpatient clinic.

Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits

Students will learn valuable skills as a scientific writer and be included as an author on any scientific publications to which the student contributes work. Those interested in pursuing a career in medicine will also be provided with exposure and time to explore clinical aspects of the field.

Brock O'Neil

Associate Professor

Dr. O’Neil works with participating students to develop a tailored plan that achieves the individual’s goals. Students meet with Dr. O’Neil at the beginning of the research experience to define goals and expectations. They will then have a weekly meeting to establish a research and clinical observation plan which will be executed by the student as an independent learner. They will also participate in a weekly lab meeting where they are integrated as a member of our research group.


To learn about REACH U2, visit here.