Jose Ramos never gives up.

He learned how to persevere from his mother, who survived breast cancer.

So, after becoming the first in his family to graduate high school and college, Ramos is aiming high for an MD/PhD. He is currently studying global disease as a master’s student at Columbia University. He has an internship with the Brazilian Health Association to work on community-based cancer and disease research.

Jose Ramos, 2016 Exito Grad
Jose Ramos, 2016 Exito Grad

Last year, he took another big step—he applied for Éxito!.

Today Ramos is among two-dozen 2016 grads of the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which annually recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals for a five-day summer institute and internship opportunities to encourage pursuit of doctoral degrees and careers studying Latino cancer.

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

The Éxito! program enhances participants understanding of: the power of research to affect change; research methods, theory and interventions; cancer control; and networking and skills to successfully apply to a doctoral program.

“The [Éxito!] summer institute has inspired me to believe in all possibilities,” Ramos said. “I am more than ever convinced that a dual MD/PhD is more than possible.”

Statistics show Latinos earn just 3.9% of all science and engineering doctoral degrees conferred.

Amelie Ramirez
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, Exito Director

That’s why Éxito! is so important, said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Éxito! and the IHPR.

Of 126 Éxito! grads since 2010, more than 25% have applied to doctoral programs and more than 20% are now enrolled in a doctoral program, Ramirez said.

“Training Latino researchers will increase the number of Latinos in cancer control research, which will increase work being done to reduce Latino cancer,” she said.

Here’s how to get involved:

For Ramos, he’s convinced the program can help him and others achieve success.

¡Si se puede!” he said.

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