The African Cancer Leaders Institute (ACLI) was conceived as a “meeting within a meeting” in collaboration with the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC). In the past, ACLI participants have discussed cancer needs in Africa, core competencies in leadership, translating research into policy, national cancer plans, and interactions with partner organizations. ACLI participants have attended AORTIC scientific sessions, participated in meeting sessions designed specifically for the ACLI, as well as meeting with mentors individually. The long-term goal is to provide an intellectually stimulating platform for Emerging Global Cancer Research leaders from Africa and the US to receive mentorship and build a network to support innovative cancer research in Africa. The ACLI will form the basis of an African network for emerging leaders in cancer research in Africa, which itself will have annual goals and objectives set by a Steering Committee.

Overall Goal: The overall objective is to foster the development of the next generation of leaders in cancer research and practice in Africa, who can also serve in leadership roles within AORTIC. As the leading Cancer Organization in Africa, AORTIC has developed the platform to support interdisciplinary and interprofessional training to improve the quality of patient-centered cancer care in Africa.

selection criteria

Applicants are selected by the ACLI Selection Committee based on their potential to develop as global leaders in biomedical research, healthcare, industry, community engagement, advocacy, governmental liaison, or other critical areas of need for leadership in Africa. Membership in AORTIC and potential to take on a future leadership role in the Organization and/or other Africa based Institutions/Organizations focused on Cancer are major criteria for selection. We encourage applications from women, members of underserved and communities under-represented in research, and persons with disabilities. We will promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the ACLI cohort in compliance with the Guidelines for Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in NIH-Supported Conference Grants policy.

Successful candidates for the ACLI will be individuals who show promise to lead initiatives and activities related to patient-centered cancer research in Africa. Ideal candidates are at junior to mid- level in their careers with demonstrable leadership experience. Special consideration will be given to those individuals who are involved in patient care or engaged in patient-oriented research relevant to Africa, or planning to apply for NIH research training grants or career development awards like K01/K08/K23/K43/K99/R01 and/or can provide a rationale for how they will contribute to the development of high-quality interdisciplinary and interprofessional cancer care in Africa. Candidates will be encouraged to demonstrate their interest and ability to commit to AORTIC and cancer leadership activities over the long term. African Cancer Leaders Institute will be particularly suitable for awardees of K43 Global Leadership Awards and Beginner Investigator Grant for Catalytic Research (BIGCAT) awards from the NCI.

The target audience for AORTIC includes physicians (oncologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, primary care physicians and surgeons), scientists, nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists from community and academic practices in Africa. However, International AORTIC participants have come from countries in Europe, North America, Middle East and the UK to mention a few. Through this funding mechanism, ACLI will provide special incentives for senior leaders to invite their junior investigators/emerging leaders to attend AORTIC and participate in ACLI. Long-term, it is expected that AORTIC will create a community of Emerging Leaders to drive innovations to provide high quality cancer care in Africa through research.

ACLI participation

ACLI participants are expected to complete the following ACLI-supported activities:

  • Attend the AORTIC 2023 conference in Dakar, Senegal (2-6 November 2023)
  • Develop a two-page proposal (goals, activities, timeline) within the candidate’s area of interest and expertise that has the potential to impact cancer patients and their family members in Africa.
  • Identify a potential ACLI mentor before the conference to establish longitudinal mentoring relationships
  • Identify specific leadership activities that can be facilitated by AORTIC to strengthen AORTIC’s impact on cancer in Africa.
  • Participate in joint AORTIC/ACLI sponsored regional meetings such as the Africa Cancer Regional Conference inaugurated in Senegal in 2022, workshops, satellite meetings, and other activities to compliment the professional competencies of ACLI participants.
  • Participate in ACLI Alumni network and long term evaluation.

*Through a rigorous selection process, successful ACLI applicants will receive partial or full bursary to cover Registration, Travel and Housing to attend AORTIC 2023.

AORTIC 2023 is being hosted in Senegal and the West Africa region this year. Representative Cancer leaders who have accepted invitations to present or facilitate discussions and interactions among ACLI participants throughout the conference include:

  • Isaac Adewole, MB BS, FMCOG, FWACS, ACLI Patron, Former AORTIC President, Former Minister of Health and Former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Prisca Adejumo, RN, Ph.D., AFREHealth Treasurer, Professor, Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan Nigeria
  • Tolulope Adewole, MBBS, FWACP CEO, The LUTH-NSIA Cancer Center, NSIA Healthcare Development & Investment Company
  • Olusegun Isaac Alatise, MB.ChB, MSc, Professor of Surgery Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • Susan Citonje Msadabwe-Chikuni, MD. Clinical Oncologist, Republic of Zambia Ministry of Health Cancer Diseases Hospital
  • Jennifer Dent, MBA, President, BioVentures for Global Health, Seattle, USA
  • Julie Gralow, MD, Professor Emeritus, Medical Oncology, Affiliate Professor, Global Health University of Washington School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • N. Coumba Toure Kane PharmD PhD, Pr titulaire de Microbiologie, Recteur Université Sine Saloum
  • Serigne Magueye Gueye, MD, FWACS, Professor of Urology, University Cheikh Anta DIOP Dakar; Director General of Campus Franco-Senegalese
  • Yosr Hamdi, PhD. Researcher and Biologist, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia
  • T. Peter Kingham, MD, FACS Surgeon, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Director of Global Cancer Disparities Initiatives
  • Jean-Marie Kabongo Mpolesha, MD, PhD. Former President of AORTIC, Universite de Kinshasa, Faculte de Medicine, Cliniques Universitaires de Kinshasa, Republic Democratic Congo
  • Miriam Mutebi, MD, MSc, FACS, AORTIC President Elect, Chair of Kenya Society of Oncology
  • Paul Ndom, MD, Former AORTIC President, Secrétaire permanent du comité national de lutte contre le cancer, Ministère de la santé/Comité National de Lutte contre le Cancer
  • Atara Ntekim, MBBCh, FMCR, MRes, Head of Department, Radiation Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
  • Kunle Odunsi, MBBS, PhD. Director, University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dean for Oncology, Biological Sciences Division, The AbbVie Foundation Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecoloy
  • Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, MD, FACP, OON. Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, Associate Dean for Global Health Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics
  • C. Sola Olopade, MBBS, MPH. Dean for Academic Affairs, Biological Science Division, Professor of Medicine University of Chicago Medicine, Director of Clinical Programs, Center for Global Health
  • Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention, Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Professor, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Joseph Sparano, MD. Deputy Chair, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, Ezra M Greenspan MD Chair in Clinical Cancer Therapeutics, Chief, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Deputy Director, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Verna Vanderpuye, MBBS, AORTIC Secretary Treasurer, Consultant, National Center for Radiotherapy, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, University of Ghana
  • Christopher K O Williams, MBBS, Founding AORTIC Secretary General, British Columbia, Canada

Application submission

Applicants will need to complete an application form (pages 4 – 7) which is available on this page by clicking on “Submit my Application”.

Deadline for submission: 1 August 2023

Selection Decisions: 1 September 2023

Participation in AORTIC 2023, Dakar, Senegal 2-6 November 2023

Application submission and application questions to:

Questions regarding the ACLI programme to:

Belmira Rodrigues:
Lauren Singh: