Adams-Campbell Selected for Top Award in Preventive Oncology

Lucile Adams-Campbell
The American Society of Preventive Oncology selected Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, to receive the 2021 Joseph F. Fraumeni Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award, its top honor.

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(March 28, 2021) — Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, professor of oncology and associate director for minority health and health disparities research at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, will receive the Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology.

View ASPO’s interview with Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD

The honor will be bestowed virtually on March 29 at the organization’s 45th annual meeting.

The award is given annually to a scientist “with outstanding achievements in the area of preventive oncology, cancer control, and/or cancer prevention.” Adams-Campbell was selected for her leadership of major collaborative projects such as the Black Women’s Health Study and her work related to health disparities.

A Moral Calling and Societal Imperative

The District of Columbia has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the U.S., and African-Americans are at the greatest risk. As a native and longtime resident of D.C. and the first African-American woman in the country to earn a doctorate in epidemiology, Adams-Campbell believes that is unacceptable. Through Georgetown Lombardi’s Office of Minority Health (OMH) and Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC), she has addressed gaps in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment among minority populations.

Lucile Adams-Campbell speaks into a microphone at a podium
Adams-Campbell spoke at the 12th annual Gift of Life Breakfast benefiting Georgetown Lombardi’s Capital Breast Care Center in 2019. (Image: Leslie E. Kossoff)

The greatest health disparities exist east of the Anacostia River in southeast Washington, D.C., where African Americans make up approximately 90 percent of the population. Led by Adams-Campbell, the OMH and CBCC offices in southeast D.C. are staffed by experts in cancer epidemiology, health communications, exercise physiology and nutrition, as well as nurse practitioners and community health educators. Together, they work to promote evidence-based nutrition and physical activity interventions to reduce the impact of health disparities.

Part of the OMH, the CBCC has provided over 16,000 women throughout the Washington, D.C., area with cancer screenings since 2004. The CBCC also provides culturally sensitive patient navigation and health education, empowering minority women — who have often been grossly underrepresented in research studies — to make more informed decisions about their health.

In 2020, Adams-Campbell led the effort to designate the cancer center a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Georgetown Lombardi’s “National Capital Area Minority/Underserved NCORP,” or NCA-NCORP, is part of a nationwide network that aims to bring cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery studies to people living in underserved areas.

The $5.33 million grant to establish the NCA-NCORP also allows Georgetown Lombardi researchers to increase awareness and provide access to cancer clinical trials among underserved populations in the Washington area.

Selfless Accomplishments, Esteemed Positions

Lucile Adams-Campbell stands amid exercise equipment in a lab setting
Adams-Campbell was named a 2018 Washingtonian of the Year. (Image: Washingtonian)

In addition to her other duties, Adams-Campbell serves as the associate dean of community health and outreach for Georgetown University Medical Center and the program director of the master’s in epidemiology program at Georgetown University. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, where she promotes in-depth discussions and action plans around cancer prevention and treatment.

In 2015, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) awarded Adams-Campbell the Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship. She has served as chair of the AACR’s Women in Cancer Research Council and as a member of its Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee.

Adams-Campbell is also a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), for which she systematically reviews NHGRI’s intramural program and advises the NHGRI scientific director.

For her outstanding contributions to the fields of public health and health sciences, Adams-Campbell has received gold medallions from both her alma maters, Drexel University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and the University of Pittsburgh, where she completed her doctoral degree. In 2018, she was named a 2018 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. “It has been an honor and privilege to work on behalf of D.C. residents through a leading institution and with dedicated colleagues who truly embody our commitment to justice. As long as health disparities continue to impact populations in this city, we have more work to do,” Adams-Campbell said.