Yadira Montoya: Cultural Food Faves with Cancer-Fighting Flare


Yadira Montoya
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Certain foods can lessen your risk for cancer, research shows.

Yadira Montoya takes food to another level by sharing healthy cultural favorites and using her “molcajete” to spark important conversations.

Her commitment to help improving the health profile of her community and her bicultural background has positioned her to take on several roles in health education, outreach and research in health literacy and nutritional interventions.

As the coordinator of community engagement at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, she works on initiatives to boost access to Alzheimer’s education, family support services, and research opportunities among older Latino adults, particularly individuals and families with limited English proficiency.

To expand her training and prepare for a possible PhD, she applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals for a five-day Summer Institute to promote doctoral degrees and careers studying Latino cancer. Éxito! is led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio, with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Montoya called Éxito! “a phenomenal program.”

“The [Éxito! Summer] Institute provided concrete tools which make the process of applying and obtaining a PhD attainable,” she said. “Hearing from established Latino researchers about their journey to research was also extremely motivating and empowering.”

Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2016 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now.

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