Dr. Amelie Ramirez wins prestigious Komen cancer award

San Antonio (Aug. 30, 2007) – Dr. Amelie Ramirez, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and director of outreach and health care disparities at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, has been named a “2007 Professor of Survivorship” for her outstanding contributions to breast cancer survivorship by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a worldwide network of breast cancer survivors and activists.

Dr. Ramirez holds the Dielmann Chair in Health Disparities Research and Community Outreach at the Health Science Center and the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Endowed Chair in Cancer Health Care Disparities and Outreach at CTRC.

The award, which honors two survivorship advocates each year, was given at Komen for the Cure’s 10th annual mission conference Aug. 26 in Washington, D.C.

Winners receive $25,000 to boost their work in the field.

Dr. Ramirez, who received the award this year with Dr. Sonja Eva Singletary of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said the funds will bolster her efforts to reduce the unequal burden of various cancers on Latinos in the U.S.

“This award is a wonderful honor and will allow us to continue our work to reduce cultural barriers to breast cancer screening, treatment and post-treatment quality of life, and increase patients’ access to care,” Dr. Ramirez said. “We want to reduce survivors’ pain and suffering to help them live full, productive lives after breast cancer.”

Dr. Eric Winer, chief scientific advisor for Komen for the Cure, lauded Dr. Ramirez’ work to advance breast cancer survivorship, which includes: conducting community-based research; spurring Latinas to enter clinical trials; telling survivors’ stories; setting a national cancer control agenda; and promoting educational materials for survivors.

“Both women [Drs. Ramirez and Singletary] are passionate about survivorship and prevention and most certainly deserve this honor,” Dr. Winer said.

Dr. Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion and Research at the U.T. Health Science Center at San Antonio, has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and is lead investigator on research projects funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She also is lead investigator for Redes En Acción, a National Cancer Institute-sponsored program that combats cancer among Latinos with a national network of community, research and health groups and the public.

She also chairs Komen’s National Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council and the CDC’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee.

She received a master’s degree and a doctorate in public health from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health. Her undergraduate degree in psychology is from the University of Houston.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $536 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $14.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields.

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