October 28, 2021

Reid receives NRG Oncology early-stage investigator award

Vanderbilt’s Sonya Reid, MD, MPH, is a recipient of an NRG Oncology Underserved Minority Scholars Award.

Sonya Reid, MD, MPH

Sonya Reid, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Medicine, is a recipient of an NRG Oncology Underserved Minority Scholars Award.

Reid is one of three inaugural recipients of the award, which was established by NRG Oncology this year to address cancer equity by intensively training early-stage investigators about clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

“I am very honored, given that this award will truly provide collaboration and clinical trial protocol development training. The mentorship and guidance from this prestigious group will help me develop clinical trials that will have a bigger impact than what I could do even within the walls of Vanderbilt,” Reid said.

Reid focuses on health disparities in breast cancer in her research. She received her medical degree from the University of the West Indies School of Medicine in Kingston, Jamaica. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Meharry Medical College followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

She received her MPH with a focus on global health from Vanderbilt University in 2020. She is involved in breast cancer research in Jamaica in addition to treating breast cancer patients at Vanderbilt.

“We have to be intentional about improving the racial/ethnic diversity in clinical trials and training diverse clinical investigators to improve trust in minority communities,” she said.

Reid and the two other recipients will be matched with experienced NRG Oncology investigators who will serve as their mentors. The mentorship program will last for two years, during which time the mentees will be tasked with developing a new research protocol within NRG Oncology. A primary goal of the program is for the awardees to learn the skills to produce attractive protocols for clinical trials and achieve competitive grant writing capabilities.

A long-term career goal Reid has is to design clinical trials that improve diversity in breast cancer trials and reduce the racial survival disparity gap in breast cancer. “It would be truly amazing if this award would move the needle in the right direction as it pertains to my long-term career goals,” she said.

The other inaugural recipients of the award are Tara Castellano, MD, assistant professor at Louisiana State University Health Services Center in New Orleans, and Oluwadamilola Oladeru, MD, assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine.