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Governors State University - UI Cancer Disparity Education Project:

It's an exciting time to be a part of the College of Health and Human Services. GSU and the University of Illinois Cancer Center are joining forces in research to help reduce cancer-related health disparities across Chicago's Southland.

The GUIDE (Governors State University –UI Cancer Center Disparity Education) Cancer Research Training Project is a collaborative initiative between Governors State University (GSU) and UI Cancer Center (UICC). This collaboration will enhance the capacity of both institutions to conduct research to understand and reduce local cancer disparities and their determinants. The institutions will jointly conduct a pilot research project addressing a local, cancer-related health disparity. A training program for GSU junior faculty and undergraduate students designed to attract and prepare investigators for careers in cancer disparities research will also be developed. The training and education program will leverage research expertise in cancer-related health inequities at the UICC and will incorporate successful elements of research training programs developed at GSU and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

GSU LogoUIC Logo

Aims of the GUIDE Project:

  1. Establish a collaborative partnership between GSU and UICC in Cancer Disparities Research and Training
  2. Encourage underrepresented minority undergraduate students from GSU to pursue careers in disparities research
  3. Conduct a collaborative locally focused breast cancer pilot research study by investigators at UICC, GSU and a local community-based organization
  4. Provide an integrated cancer research training and career development experience at the junior faculty level in the GSU College of Health and Human Services.

The Principal Investigators of the GUIDE Project are:

 GUIDE Project,  Robert Winn, MD GUIDE Project,  Catherine Balthazar, PhD  
Robert Winn, MD
Director, Cancer Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Catherine Balthazar, PhD
Governors State University
Chairman, Director
Health Administration Department
Governors State University
 Governors State University encourages all GUIDE Faculty and students to apply for membership to

GUIDE Project Participants


UI Cancer Center Joins GSU in Project to Address Cancer Disparities

Governors State University and the University of Illinois Cancer Center have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago’s south suburbs.

The grant will support the development of an integrated program for GSU junior faculty that provides training to perform independent research and to lend career-development support to minority undergraduate and graduate students at GSU who are interested in health disparities research.

The Southland has seen a “geographic shift” in the areas with the highest cancer rates, from the city to the suburbs, noted Karriem Watson, senior research specialist and administrator for community-engaged research at the UI Cancer Center. 

“But many suburbs don’t have the infrastructure of robust academic and research cancer centers, or the specialized expertise among their faculty, to address the growing disparities that exist within their local communities,” Watson said. “That’s what we hope to build with GSU.”

“Partnering with the UI Cancer Center will increase the capacity of GSU to serve as a center of health disparities research in a community that is disproportionately affected by cancer,” said  Dr. Rupert Evans, Sr., DHA, MPA, FACHE, Chair and Program Director of GSU’s Department of Health Administration, as well as co-principal investigator on the grant.

“It will also build our faculty’s ability to pursue larger federal grants for projects that will address high cancer rates and mortality in the Southland community," Dr. Evans said. 

“The faculty and students have a very organic relationship with the communities we serve,” said Dr. Catherine Balthazar, Ph.D., Chair of GSU’s Department of Communication Disorders and also a co-principal investigator on the grant.

“Because of the trust we have with the community, we can help bring the opportunity to participate in community-based cancer research and in clinical trials through our partnership with the University of Illinois Cancer Center," Dr. Balthazar said. 

 “Governors State University has invested substantially in its basic and health science faculty and programs and is well-positioned to make a dent in bringing down cancer rates locally,” said Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice president for community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System and director of the UI Cancer Center.

“The University of Illinois Cancer Center can help by sharing our expertise in cancer research and delivering community-based cancer prevention and intervention strategies where they are needed most," Dr. Winn added.

The grant also supports a breast cancer pilot project led by Dr. Kent Hoskins, associate professor of hematology/oncology in the UIC College of Medicine and member of the UI Cancer Center, and faculty from GSU with expertise in behavioral health and health disparities.

“In the past, people in the Southland have not had access to any type of quality research in helping prevent cancer, especially in minority women,” noted Dr. Evans. “That’s one of the focuses of this particular grant — to work on the disparities that exist in the treatment and access to care in minority women.”


Updates about the GUIDE Project can be found in the GUIDE Lines Newsletter  


Guide Lines Newsletter

Read up on The GUIDE Project with our newsletters.

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Contact Us

For information about The GUIDE Project, or to become a GUIDE Scholar, please contact Kathy Gustafson, Project Director,, (708) 534-4987.

Summer Research Program for Students    

2020 Application Deadline TBA