When the Kingston RIOT team formed in October 2014, we had a vision to share our passion for cancer research with the public and to add a voice to the research that is happening in our own backyard – at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI). After only a few brainstorming sessions, events started taking shape.
To date, we have participated in outreach events that have introduced the research scientists, the types of research, and the progress we’re making in cancer research.
As volunteers of the Canadian Cancer Society, we have been asked to speak at several local volunteer appreciation events. Kelly Brennan, a Master’s student in the department of Epidemiology, has given talks in Kingston and Belleville. She discussed the different types of research happening at the QCRI, which ranges from prevention research, basic science, and population studies, to clinical trials.
We recently published our first newspaper article in Kingston This Week. In this article, we introduced our RIOT members to the Kingston public, highlighting our goals and vision. Stay tuned for upcoming articles discussing different types of cancer research as well as articles delving into the complexity of cancer and research focused on the different cancer subtypes (lung, breast, etc).
Let’s Talk Cancer Event
A big initiative, co-sponsored by Let’s Talk Science, was our Let’s Talk Cancer event held in May 2015. Over 40 high school students attended to learn about cancer and the research that is happening at the QCRI. Speakers included members of RIOT, as well as Queen’s University faculty members Lois Mulligan and David Berman, the director of the NCIC Cancer Clinical Trials group Janet Dancey, and a cancer survivor Emma Maclean. Through this initiative, we hoped to inspire the younger generation and give them a glimpse into cancer research, highlighting both the complexity of the disease as well as the significant progress we are making in fighting this disease. Let’s Talk Cancer was a big success and we received media coverage of the event. Check out some of the local reports:
QCRI Open House & Lab Tours
Our most recent event, an open house held for volunteers, staff and donors of the Canadian Cancer Society, was another huge success! At this event, faculty recently funded by the Canadian Cancer Society shared the promise of their research in our fight against cancer. Other speakers included RIOT member Mathieu Crupi, and QCRI faculty members from both basic science and clinical trials. Those attending the open house were also offered a tour of the research facility where they could witness what happens in the day-to-day of cancer research. The media were also invited and some of their reports can be found here:
Throughout the summer, we will have several more newspaper articles and blog articles published. And, in September, we will be making more presentations at local community events, including:
- September 9th: opening night of the play Calendar Girls at the Grand Theatre in Kingston, Ontario.
- September 19th: Mudmoiselle – a five kilometre muddy obstacle course for women and fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Stay tuned and visit our blog regularly to learn more about the exciting cancer research happening locally and abroad!