National Cancer Institute recognizes cancer center director

Robert Winn (F)

Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community-based practice and director of the UI Cancer Center. Photo: UIC Photo Services

Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community-based practice and director of the UI Cancer Center, was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.

The award was presented June 27 by the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program. CURE supports underrepresented individuals across the academic spectrum — beginning in middle school and continuing to cancer research independence — through a pipeline of research funding opportunities.

Winn said the CURE program was a game changer for him.

“CURE provided invaluable mentoring and support,” Winn said. “This award is an inspiration to persevere forward and to expand UIC’s progress in eliminating health disparities and improving the health of our communities.”

Over the past 10 years, Winn has received nine federally-supported grants in the areas of pulmonary and critical care medicine that use community-based research to support disparities reduction. Within the first 24 months of his tenure at the UI Cancer Center, Winn secured more $63 million in funding from the NIH, NCI and foundations to support a “bench to community” model of care.

Winn is one of only five individuals to receive the award this year.