Cancer prevention researcher named to influential Texas cancer funding group

SAN ANTONIO (April 30, 2009) – Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will advise the new state agency known as CPRIT, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Dr. Ramirez has been appointed to CPRIT’s Scientific and Prevention Advisory Council, which meets for the first time April 30 and is expected to provide strategic guidance on the development of cancer research in Texas. Approved by Texas voters in 2007 as Proposition 15, CPRIT is authorized to fund as much as $300 million annually over 10 years for cancer research.

“I’m extremely pleased to be a part of this new advisory council, which will allow us to make a difference in preventing cancer in Texas, especially in South Texas’ medically underserved regions,” said Ramirez, associate director of community outreach for the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center, and co-leader of its Cancer Prevention and Population Science Program. “CPRIT is a critical opportunity for Texas to lead the way in preventing, discovering, and potentially curing cancer.”

CPRIT officials said in a statement that Dr. Ramirez’ “expertise, knowledge and perspective will be a tremendous addition” to the advisory council. Dr. Ramirez, who joined the Health Science Center in 2006 from Baylor College of Medicine, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of health promotion and education. She has received many honors and awards, including election to the Institute of Medicine and a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board. She was nominated to the council by South Texas media consultant Lionel Sosa, a member of the CPRIT Oversight Committee, which will oversee allocation of the research funds.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s leading academic research and treatment centers, serving more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of Central and South Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. CTRC is one of a few elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only three in Texas. A world leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, The CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) is internationally recognized for conducting the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug trials program in the world, and participates in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit the Web site at

The Institute of Health Promotion Research (IHPR) was established Oct. 1, 2006, as part of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). The IHPR researches the causes and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer and chronic disease affecting residents of South Texas and the nation by aiming to develop, test and implement research, education, intervention and outreach projects; train scientists and mentor students; and communicate with research, health, policy and community groups using IHPR-developed channels, such as Web sites and publications. IHPR researchers, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, have conducted dozens of funded projects to reduce health disparities and improve Latino health. For more about the IHPR, visit

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