Program Description

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Strategic Plan suggests that addressing cancer health disparities is one of the best ways to overcome the burden of cancer. To achieve this strategic objective, the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) is committed to the study and identification of factors contributing to disparities, developing culturally competent approaches, and disseminating interventions to overcome disparities across the cancer control continuum from disease prevention to end-of-life care.

The ultimate goal of BMaP is to create unique, centralized, public resources for multi-ethnic biobanking/biospecimens. The primary mission of which is to ensure high-quality human biospeciments for cancer research that also takes into account the cultural sensitivities of diverse communities in specific regions. To this end, BMaP includes strong community outreach and supports the development of training in biospecimen science among underrepresented minority students from undergraduate through PhD and postgraduate level to faculty positions.

During the first two years, representatives from various institutions within Region VI engaged in planning  to lay the foundation for the development of these “hubs” to address and develop multi-ethnic biospecimen/biobanking systems within various geographic areas and populations (including rural). At the end of this planning process Region VI has developed a comprehensive needs assessment and implementation plan to address cancer health disparaties within the region.

Subsequently over the past two years NCI has released a funding opportunities to conduct  regional pilots.  The first year of the BMaP pilot project, strenghtened partnership with the Integrated Clinical and Tissue Biomarker Database Program (ICTBP) at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and focuses on developing an online database application for the region, housing colorectal cancer biospecimen researcher information.Year two of the regional BMaP pilot project will be to continue to partner with Charles Drew University in developing this online database application to help develop ways to assist regional partners in determining how many useful samples are available. The aim being, by assessing the presence of samples, we will work with our regional partners and reach out to new networks within the region to develop procedures to approach diverse communities about biospecimen collection. We will continue this development as well as highlight new partnership opportunities within the region and work with the BMaP Core Committee, community and academic partners to develop human subjects, education, and outreach procedures that would allow us to sensitively and appropriate gather specimens in those communities where it is acceptable, and to provide education and outreach for those communities where it is not acceptable; for those communities where specimen collection may require additional steps or procedures, we will work with our community partners to develop those as well.


Participating Institutions Include:

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Billings Clinic

Cancer Research Center of Hawaii at the University of Hawaii

Charles R Drew University Cancer Research Lab

Consumer Advocate in Research and Related Activities (CARRA) Member

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Imi Hale Native Hawaiian Cancer Network

Oregon Health & Science University

San Diego State University

San Francisco State University

SDSU/UCSD Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnerhsip

St. Joe’s Hospital

St. Luke’s Health System

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of California Irvine School of Medicine

University of Guam

University of Hawaii



*Region VI is made up of AK, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, and the US-associated Pacific Islands

For More Information on the BMaP Region VI Program and Activities:

Contact Ebere Iweriebor, M.A., BMaP Coordinator, at (619) 594-4278 or