Office of Research Team Research Forum: Community-Focused Cancer Research - Office of Research

Team Research Forum: Community-Focused Cancer Research

Join the UC Davis Office of Research and UC Davis Health at 10:30am on Friday, March 24th to hear about a program that is making precision medicine for cancer more accessible to marginalized communities. The Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, aim to increase knowledge and awareness about cancer prevention among Latino and other under-served and marginalized populations in California, while also increasing their participation in early detection screenings and clinical trials.

The Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity is one of four UC Davis Health programs funded as part of a new UC Davis initiative known as the HEAL-HER (Heart, BrEast and BrAin Heath Equity Research) Program. HEAL-HER is supported by a $24 million award to UC Davis Health for women’s health research in breast cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

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luis carvajal carmona portraitLuis Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Professor & Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science, School of Medicine
Director, Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
Co-Director, Community Engagement Program, UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center

Luis joined UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in 2012 and was promoted to Professor in 2019. In addition to leading his research laboratory, Luis is the holder of the Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science and the Associate Director for Basic Science at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also is the leader of the Cancer Center’s Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA) initiative and the co-director Community Engagement Program at the Clinical and Translational Science Center.

Luis has interest and expertise in cancer genetics, population genetics, genetic demography of minority groups and functional genomics. Before joining UC Davis, Luis was a Senior Research Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in the University of Oxford. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the London Research Institute and his PhD at University College London.


nicole halmai portraitNicole Halmai, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

As a postdoctoral researcher in the Carvajal-Carmona lab, Nicole leads the functional genomics team, which focuses on the characterization of therapeutically-relevant cancer driver variants in patient-derived models, with a specific focus on racial and ethnic minority cancer patients, to address cancer health disparities. Her work includes the use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology and patient-derived 2D and 3D cell culture models.

Nicole is a native of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Denison University with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. At UC Davis, she earned her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology and was an NIH MCB T32 Training Fellow.


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