Exito newsletterCancer just surpassed heart disease as the No. 1 killer of Latinos.

Yet, as the Latino population surges, there aren’t enough Latino researchers who are working to uncover new ways to treat cancer or pave way for novel studies of cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic issues to prevent Latinos from suffering worse cancer outcomes.

But there is good news.

The number of Latino cancer researchers is starting to grow, thanks to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, a program that encourages master’s-level students and professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and careers studying how cancer affects Latinos differently.

Éxito! participants attend a five-day summer institute that enhances understanding of cancer and research, encourages networking among peers and leaders in the field, and provides tips, tools and templates for successfully applying to a doctoral program. Participants also are eligible to apply for paid internships.

In 2011 and 2012, the program has had 37 participants.

Many have applied to doctoral programs, and eight already have been accepted:

  • Maria Brietzke – PhD in Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Roger Figueroa –Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention PhD/MPH Program, University of Illinois
  • Marivelisse Soto-Salgado – DrPH in Social Determinants of Health, University of Puerto Rico School of Public Health
  • Mary Vanellys Diaz-Santana – PhD in Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Lizette Rangel – DrPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston
  • Laura Rubalcava – PhD in Clinical Psychology, George Washington University, DC
  • Donaji Stelzig – DrPH in Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health
  • Cynthia Wittenburg – DrPH, University of Texas School of Public Health in El Paso

Several Éxito! alumni also completed internships studying various aspects of Latino cancer.

Go here to learn about interns and their projects and see what other progress Éxito! alumni are making.

Apply here for the 2013 Éxito! program. Applications are due March 15, 2013.

Éxito! is funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed by The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

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