Training Program

2015 NACP G-STEP students: (top) Joshua Owl & Leah Guerrero (bottom) Jennifer Daw & Kristen Natonie

2015 NACP/UBRP students: (top) Mark Lee (second row) Phillip Belone & Leonard Seanez (bottom) Melanie Begaye & Kambrea Soltero

Principal Investigators

Margaret Briehl, UACC
Jani Ingram, NAU

Training Program Coordinators

Tiffani Begay, UACC
Christal Black, NAU


Native Americans are the most underrepresented racial/ethnic group among physicians and scientists. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of death among Native Americans is cancer. This is in contrast to the majority population for which heart disease is the number one killer. Arizona has 21 federally recognized tribes and Native Americans back up 5% of the population.  Thus the state’s universities are ideally positioned to train a greater number of Native Americans for biomedical careers. It is anticipated that this can be an effective approach to addressing cancer health disparities in Native American communities.

Training Activities

NACP training activities include: 1) summer programs to transition students from high schools or community colleges to the university; 2) mentored projects with investigators conducting cancer-related research; 3) summer internships at other institutions; 4) development of an individualized career plan; 5) attendance at national meetings focused on health research in Native American communities; 6) mentoring sessions with Native American researchers as role models; and 7) a graduate programs primer that provides guidance on applying for post-baccalaureate degree programs.

Specific Aims

  • Mentor Native American students to succeed in their undergraduate studies and expose them to hands-on research and Native American role models.
  • Provide activities to successfully transition Native American undergraduate students into advanced degree programs which will train them to address cancer health disparities in their communities.
  • Mentor NACP junior faculty and provide cultural competency training in partnership with the Outreach Core for all NACP faculty and staff.


For more information on NACP's Training Program, please e-mail Margaret Briehl at, Jani Ingram at