Watch Webinar: The Importance of Diverse Biospecimens and How Can Latinos Donate


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When people donate biospecimens—blood, fluid, or tissue samples—it gives researchers the opportunity to better understand, treat, and prevent conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s.

So why don’t Latinos donate?

Find the answers at UT Health San Antonio’s Zoom webinar — “The Importance of Diverse Biospecimens and How Can Latinos Donate” — at 10 a.m. CT on April 5, 2023.

The webinar features experts from UT Health San Antonio, Genentech, and leaders and participants in the All of Us Research Program discussing how to increase diverse biospecimen donation and point to donation opportunities.

This is a part of a webinar of a series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together.”

The series is a collaboration of the Salud America! program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, and Genentech.

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Learn about the Speakers for this Webinar on Clinical Trials

Here are the panelists for the webinar, which will follow a question-and-answer discussion session format moderated by Dr. Amelie Ramirez, in celebration of National Public Health Week (April 3-9, 2023) and National Minority Health Month (April).

Amelie Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio health equity Systemic and Behavioral ChangeDr. Amelie G. Ramirez is an internationally recognized researcher in Latino health promotion and behavioral change. She is director of Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research in the Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. She has spent over 30 years directing research on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos, including cancer risk factors, clinical trial recruitment, tobacco prevention, obesity prevention, and promotion of health equity. She also is associate director of cancer outreach and engagement at the NCI-designated Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio.

Martin Mendoza of NIHDr. Martin Mendoza is director of health equity for the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health. In this role, he provides leadership and high-level expertise to improve inclusion and equity in precision medicine and address health equity issues for the program. Before joining All of Us, Martin served as director of the Division of Policy and Data at the Office of Minority Health in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with developing health policies and initiatives to eliminate health disparities and advance health equity. Previously, he led extramural research for minority health in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is a recognized expert in clinical trial diversity and while at FDA testified before Congress in support of diverse clinical research inclusion. He conducted his primary research training in the National Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Oncology Branch and served at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he helped to map chromosome 7 as part of the Human Genome Project. Martin is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and received his Ph.D. in cancer biology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Altovise T. EwingDr. Altovise T. Ewing, PhD, LCGC, is a clinician-scientist and genomic health equity thought leader with 15 years of genetic counseling and health disparities research experience. She earned a Ph.D. in Genetics and Human Genetics with a specialization in Genetic Counseling from Howard University and completed a cancer health disparities postdoctoral research fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Ewing dedicates her career to ensuring that emerging genetic and genomic research, services and technologies do not further exacerbate health disparities and inequities. Dr. Ewing’s scholarship focuses on inclusion of diverse patient populations in cancer genetics and biobanking research as well as the development of ethically sound educational and engagement strategies to better serve and address the needs of medically underserved populations. Currently, Dr. Ewing is a Senior Science Lead and Strategist on the Global Health Equity and Population Science (HEPS) team at Genentech.  She is also a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Advisor to the Kean University Genetic Counseling Program and a Medical/Health Advisor to the Chrysalis Initiative, Tulsa Innovation Lab and Susan G. Komen Stand for H.E.R. (Health Equity Revolution Initiative’s Genetic Counseling and Testing Working Group.

Alma LopezAlma Lopez has been a breast cancer survivor for more than 15 years. She believes participating in a clinical trial at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio helped her get better treatment and better long-term health in her survivorship journey. She also is a participant in the All of Us Research Program at NIH. Alma lives in San Antonio.

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Behind the Webinar Series on Health Equity

The “Let’s Address Health Equity Together” webinar series is a collaboration of the Salud America! program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, and Genentech.

Four webinars are planned for 2023.

Six webinars occurred from 2021-2022.

Salud America! is a national Latino-focused organization that creates culturally relevant and research-based stories, videos, and tools to inspire people to start and support healthy changes to policies, systems, and environments where Latino children and families can equitably live, learn, work, and play.

The Mays Cancer Center, also known as the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, has a mission to decrease the burden of cancer in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond. We bring South Texas a level of exceptional care that is comparable with the nation’s most respected programs. More patients put their trust in our program because we have a unique understanding of our community’s cancer care needs. We excel in delivering advanced therapies.

Founded more than 40 years ago as the first biotechnology company, Genentech is dedicated to the rigorous pursuit of science and the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for people facing serious diseases. Headquartered in South San Francisco, California and a proud member of the Roche Group, our community is united by a common purpose and sense of urgency to transform the future of healthcare. Learn more at

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