Florida A&M University (FAMU) associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Work, Merlin R. Langley, Ph.D., has been recognized as a 2009 AACR Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Faculty Scholars in Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for his innovative research in the area of prostate cancer prevention.
Langley’s research involved examining social and behavioral factors that influence the behavior of African-American males related to prostate cancer screening. In particular, Langley studied the role of how masculinity internalized by African-American males affect their experience of stress and behavior related to medical procedures – blood test and digital rectum exam – associated with prostate cancer screening.
To date, there is a scarcity of research examining the relationship between masculinity-related stress and prostate cancer screening behavior among African-American males. Langley’s research addresses such a void and contributes to the dialogue concerning psychosocial factors that influence prostate cancer screening behavior. It is also significant because African-American males have the highest incident and mortality rate of prostate cancer in the world.
The AACR-MSI Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Awards are presented annually by the AACR to scientists who are engaged in meritorious basic, clinical, translational or epidemiological cancer research.
“I am very honored to be recognized for my research in the area of prostate cancer prevention in general and prostate cancer screening in particular,” Langley said. “The AACR is the world recognized authority in cancer research and for them to recognize me means that I am doing something worthwhile that can potentially contribute to saving the lives of African-American males.”
As a winner of this award, Langley was granted membership in the prestigious organization and awarded $1,800 to attend and present his research at the 2009 AACR 100th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Langley has expanded his research program to the area of cancer survivorship. He is interested in examining factors that influence the quality of life of prostate cancer survivors and their intimate relationships with significant others. He is working on a research proposal in the above area for funding the by National Institutes of Health (NIH).