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When she feels lost, Pamela Sanchez can turn to her supportive sister or the doll her Chilean grandmother gave her.
Fortunately, Sanchez is already finding her own path and making great progress toward her goal of improving women’s health.
Sanchez is entering her second year in the master’s degree of public health program in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Sanchez, born in Miami but maintaining dual citizenship from the United States and Chile, is a first-generation American and the first in her family to seek her master’s degree.
Sanchez is currently working on a research project with Dr. Ting-Yuan Cheng, an epidemiology professor at the University of Florida. The project investigates the mTOR pathway activity and its association with breast cancer subtypes.
In the future, she wants to compare breast cancer subtypes in the U.S. and South America.
To further her experience and education, Sanchez applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.
The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute and optional internships to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer. A recent study found significant increases in summer institute participants’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy.
“The [Éxito!] summer institute definitely put the gear in drive in applying for doctoral programs,” Sanchez said. “Definitely made it seem more manageable.”
She had some advice for future program participants.
“Please take advantage of the other members in the cohort and form relationships, these can be long term friendships or colleagues!”
Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2018 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio, the headquarters of the Salud America! program. Apply now for Èxito! 2019.