where critical research gaps exist. The committee's specific recommendations are as follows:

Recommendation 4-1: NCI should develop a process to increase the representation of ethnically diverse researchers and public representatives serving on all advisory and program review committees so that the makeup of these committees reflects the changing diversity of the U.S. population. NCI should develop an evaluation plan assess the effect of increased and more diversified ethnic minority community and researcher input on changes in NCI policies and priorities toward ethnic minority cancer issues.

Recommendation 4-2: The research needs of ethnic minority and medically underserved groups should be identified on the basis of the burden of cancer in these populations, with an assessment of the most appropriate areas of research (i.e., behavioral and social sciences, biology, epidemiology and genetics, prevention and control, treatment, etc.).

Recommendation 4-3: For NCI to address needs of ethnically diverse and medically underserved populations effectively, the Office of Special Populations Research (or some other designated entity or entities) must possess the authority to coordinate and leverage programs and resources across divisions and branches of NCI to stimulate research on ethnic minority and medically underserved populations. This authority can be established by providing such an office with

  • a leadership role in major NCI-wide priority-setting bodies, and
  • special resources to fund programs specifically targeted to these populations, or
  • accountability for the institution-wide allocation of program resources.

Recommendation 4-4: Investigator-initiated research must be supplemented to ensure that the cancer research needs of ethnic minority and medically underserved populations are addressed.

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