Carnegie Mellon University
QSIURP Poster final - Dana Al Disi.pdf (721.24 kB)

Weaving with a Pink Ribbon: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Cancer Representation and Research Funding in Qatar

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posted on 2024-06-28, 19:57 authored by Dana Al Disi

In order for scientists to conduct cancer research, they must first acquire funding from organizations that fund the research that they deem significant, an approach that leads to the selective funding of some cancers over others. The practice of selective funding has caused some cancer types to be funded reliably while others are consistently underfunded, thus creating a disparity of funding that limits the medical advancement of underfunded cancers. To tackle the problem of selective funding and the resulting funding disparity, researchers should understand both how and why organizations fund certain cancer research. While the social effect of different cancers – eg. cancers with high prevalence or lethality – is an intuitive answer, researchers have found that the social impact fails to correlate with funding levels. Conversely, positive social effect—eg. advocacy—has historically played a significant role in influencing how organizations allocate funding by influencing how society perceives cancer. Despite the potential for advocacy groups to influence research funding (e.g. advocacy campaigns), cancer representation remains understudied in how it influences organizations to fund cancer research. By comparing the representation of breast and ovarian cancer with their research funding in Qatar, my research demonstrates that Qatar selectively funds research based on the government’s fixed research priorities and cultural framework, serving as a potential example for how other researchers could approach cancer representation and its influence on the selective funding/funding disparity problem. 




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