Who is Èxito!: Cristina Valdovinos


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Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2012 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply by April 1, 2013, for the 2013 Èxito! program.

Cristina Valdovinos

Cristina Valdovinos
New York, New York

Cristina Valdovinos grew up watching her father work hard to provide for his family.

When he was diagnosed with late-stage laryngeal carcinoma during her last term pursuing her bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, it sparked her desire to study cancer to help those like her father.

She soon interned at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in California to investigate early-onset breast cancer and excess late-stage diagnoses in minorities, then entered a cancer control program at the University of Puerto Rico’s Comprehensive Cancer Center to study HPV-related cancers.

She built on these experiences to earn a master’s degree in public health (epidemiology) from Columbia University. She now works as a graduate research assistant examining the use of complementary and alternative medicine, exercise and dietary changes in the New York Breast Cancer Family Registry.

Unsure of her next educational move, Ms. Valdovinos was encouraged by a mentor to apply to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, which aims to increase research in Latino cancer disparities by encouraging master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.

“It was an inspiration meeting all of the participants,” Valdovinos said.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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