Photo of Dr. Norm Coleman and Paul Kaplan

Announcing the establishment of an ICEC Mentorship Endowment fund by Paul Kaplan

Paul Kaplan, son of Dr. Henry Kaplan and Leah Lebeson Kaplan, passed away in June 2021 from cancer. Prior to his death, Paul had demonstrated a decades-long interest in human service and cancer care to the underserved globally.

Paul Kaplan, in discussions with his sister Ann Kaplan and her husband, Robert Spears, and through them, with Norm Coleman, generously bequeathed a portion of his estate to the International Cancer Expert Corps Mentorship Program. Paul, who had a nearly 40-year long friendship with Norm, designated that the fund would be named the C. Norman Coleman / Paul Kaplan Endowment Fund for Mentorship.

Purpose of the Endowment Fund for Mentorship

The purpose of the Mentorship Fund is to serve as an RFA granting mechanism to accelerate the development of improving cancer care in LMIC by developing programs that enhance care delivery and outcome.

Dr. Coleman and Dr. Grover

Dr. Norman Coleman, MD, Senior Scientific Advisor ICEC, NIH-NCI with Dr. Surbhi Grover, MD MPH Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology | University of Pennsylvania, Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana

A broad number of programs are eligible for funding, including mentoring programs, enhanced treatment delivery approaches, technological development, or other efforts that will enhance cancer care and network building. Cancer screening and prevention, although of great importance, are not the objectives of this initial pilot initiative. For this pilot initiative, radiation oncology-related projects are preferred. ICEC has a specific interest in helping to develop careers in global oncology, especially for young investigators.


Taiofeeq Ige, Medical Physicist training colleagues in Nigeria

Taofeeq Abdallah Ige, PHD, FIOMP, Chief Consultant Physicist Radiation Safety Advisor Abuja, Nigeria with trainees

APPLICATIONS are being accepted now!

Information about the application process, including eligibility, application due dates, review process and award notification, is available on the ICEC Coleman/Kaplan Grant Opportunity webpage.





ICEC Mentoring Relationships

Harmar Brereton, MD, ICEC with Onyinye Balogun, MD, Assistant Professor Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology  and Silvia Formenti, MD, Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology Weill Cornell Medical College

Read about a few of ICEC’s Mentoring Programs in the BMJ Global Health article, “Capturing Acquired Wisdom, Enabling Healthful Aging, and Building Multinational Partnerships Through Senior Global Health Mentorship”


Achieving flexible competence: bridging the investment dichotomy between infectious diseases and cancer

Today’s global health challenges in underserved communities include the growing burden of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs); infectious diseases (IDs) with epidemic and pandemic potential such as COVID-19; and health effects from catastrophic ‘all hazards’ disasters including natural, industrial or terrorist incidents. Healthcare disparities in low-income and middle-income countries and in some rural areas in developed countries make it a challenge to mitigate these health, socioeconomic and political consequences on our globalised society. As with IDs, cancer requires rapid intervention and its effective medical management and prevention encompasses the other major NCDs. Furthermore, the technology and clinical capability for cancer care enables management of NCDs and IDs. Global health initiatives that call for action to address IDs and cancer often focus on each problem separately, or consider cancer care only a downstream investment to primary care, missing opportunities to leverage investments that could support broader capacity-building. From our experience in health disparities, disaster preparedness, government policy and healthcare systems we have initiated an approach we call flex-competence which emphasises a systems approach from the outset of program building that integrates investment among IDs, cancer, NCDs and disaster preparedness to improve overall healthcare for the local community. This approach builds on trusted partnerships, multi-level strategies and a healthcare infrastructure providing surge capacities to more rapidly respond to and manage a wide range of changing public health threats. Read the article…


Article: Coleman CN, Mansoura MK, Marinissen MJ, et al. Achieving flexible competence: bridging the investment dichotomy between infectious diseases and cancer. BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e003252. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2020-003252

Capturing Acquired Wisdom, Enabling Healthful Aging, and Building Multinational Partnerships Through Senior Global Health Mentorship

Capturing the acquired wisdom and experience of mentors in global health offers a capstone for their careers and provides a purposeful healthspan for these professionals to continue to be engaged in meaningful work while leveraging their expertise to solve challenging health care problems. This article addresses such opportunities available for individuals in the latter part of their careers including postretirement done either as a continuation of their role as career-long mentors or as a new challenge to be met with their lifelong experience. The expanding and branching tree of mentors to mentees enables a career path in global health and geometric growth to fill in the current enormous capacity gap.  Read the full article…


Emphasizing the critical importance of EXPERTISE

A Broad Impact for Global Oncology
JAMA Oncology, August 8, 2019. Co-authors from International Cancer Expert Corps

Emphasizing the critical importance of EXPERTISE, the article, “A Broad Impact for Global Oncology” available at the bottom of this post and online at, emphasizes the breadth of opportunities for global oncology. The critical need for mentorship is a driving force of ICEC with the creation of a career path being essential.  The breadth of expertise required- noted on the ICEC website- creates an opportunity for many participants in all stages of their careers.

Figure 1 from the paper includes all that can be accomplished, requiring global partnerships, innovative thinking and built up Expertise.

The paper concludes: “The size and complexity of the problems present a grand challenge worthy of the best minds and transformational approaches, often requiring partnerships that have the potential for common projects even among countries and neighbors who have political conflicts. How could one not want to eradicate cancer and its deleterious impact? The Figure provides the components and benefits of a systems approach that supports leading-edge science and technology but, critically, pays attention to those populations historically and currently left behind in the trailing-edge turbulence of inequality. In this way, creativity, innovation, altruism, and commitment can bring rewarding results.”

The critical need for mentorship is a driving force of ICEC with the creation of a career path being essential.  The breadth of expertise required- noted on the ICEC website- creates an opportunity for many participants in all stages of their careers.

A Broad Impact for Global Oncology

A Broad Impact for Global Oncology

Global oncology demands attention, with approximately 9 million people dying from cancer annually. It provides an extraordinary opportunity to address the urgent need for cancer care and be a catalyst for solutions to address critical societal issues including the disruptive forces in and among countries involving the health of individuals and the planet, relationships among cultures, the digital revolution, inequality, and the sociopolitical conflict of globalism vs isolationism.  Read the article published online in JAMA Oncology

C. Norman “Norm” Coleman, MD 1945-2024

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we inform the global community of the death of our dear colleague and friend, Dr. C. Norman “Norm” Coleman, who passed away on March 1, 2024. Norm was diagnosed in December 2023 with an aggressive sarcoma. Despite enrolling in an immunotherapy clinical trial  at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), his cancer progressed relentlessly. During the subsequent weeks, Dr. Coleman remained engaged and continued to work full-time in his roles as Associate Director of the Radiation Research Program (RRP), as Senior Investigator in the Radiation Oncology Branch (ROB) in the Center for Cancer Research and as leader of his own research laboratory at NIH. Norm continued his work with the International Cancer Expert Corps, an official NIH outside activity for Norm, until mid-February.

Recognized worldwide for his numerous scientific achievements and leadership roles, Dr. Coleman also was devoted to addressing health disparities to improve the quality of cancer care globally. These efforts led to Dr. Coleman’s founding in 2013 of the International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC) , a nonprofit organization that mentors cancer professionals in low- and middle-income countries and in regions with indigenous populations in upper-income countries. Norm, known for his lifelong commitment to mentoring physicians and physician-scientists through their careers, has engaged many of his mentees rewardingly in ICEC’s activities.

Dr. Coleman was an extraordinary man who served admirably his family, his patients, his profession and the institutions for which he has worked. Beyond that he has served well his country and many other parts of the world. Norm’s commitment to serving others, his generosity of spirit and his occasionally disarming wit that made him so endearing will be missed profoundly.

The family will have a private memorial service this week and will hold a larger celebration of life in the upcoming months. One of Norm’s final acts was to give an additional $100,000 donation to ICEC in hopes of providing cancer cures to people in underserved communities around the world. In lieu of flowers, Norm would be grateful for donations to ICEC made in his memory —

Peace to all,

Nina Wendling, Executive Director, and the ICEC Board of Directors

Barry J. Alperin
Harmar D. Brereton, MD
Nelson Chao, MD, MBA
Manjit Dosanjh, PhD
Silvia C. Formenti, MD
Monique K. Mansoura, PhD, MBA
Donna M. O’Brien, MHA
Daniel C. Petereit, MD
David Andrew Pistenmaa, MD, PhD
Miles Pomper
Lawrence Roth
Timothy Williams, MD, FASTRO
Rebecca Wong, MBChB, FRCPC, MSc


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