Dr. June Stevens is the American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund Distinguished Professor at the AICR/WCRF Institute for the Advanced Study of Diet, Nutrition and Cancer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She oversees AICR’s Marilyn Gentry Fellowship Program, which seeks to develop tomorrow’s leaders in nutrition-cancer research.
Last week, she chaired a session at the 2009 AICR Research Conference called, “From Policy to Action in Cancer Prevention.” We caught up with her at lunch to ask her about the session, and about the research that’s revealing how best to translate the findings from laboratory studies and clinical trials into practical, actionable advice for the public.
Dietitian Alice Bender‘s job here at AICR is to take the research we fund and turn it into practical advice for the public. Last week was the first time Alice attended an AICR Research Conference. She attended sessions, blogged a bit, hosted one of the roundtable discussions which were created to help the health professionals who attended our conference network with one another, and anchored our press conference, where she released the results of AICR’s biennial survey on cancer risk factors.
Now that the conference is behind us and things are starting to settle down, we were eager to get her impressions.
Q: What was the most exciting part of the conference for you?
A: Finishing the press conference (laughs)– because once it was over I could really focus on the research that was being presented. Actually, there were many highlights – the first one was dinner with [AICR Nutrition Advisor] Karen Collins and Diana Dyer [a cancer survivor/RD and longtime friend of AICR; sales of Diana’s book go towards an special endowment at AICR for research on cancer survivorship.] It was an exhilarating conversation that stretched to four hours before we knew it — we talked about all kinds of things related to nutrition, organics, sustainability and AICR.
Q: This was your first AICR conference. How’d it compare to what you expected?
A: It was even better than thought it would be. I knew there were going to be many presentation on basic research, but I was surprised — pleasantly so — to see the talks including so much applied information. It was a nice mix of the science and its real-world implications.
In a session devoted to policies that can effect the kind of systemic, real-world changes that can reduce cancer rates, Penn State researcher Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, presented a talk on changing the food environment.
We fund cutting-edge research and give people practical tools and information to help them prevent–and survive–cancer.
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