Maria Alvarez

Proudly waving her native country’s flag for “Dios, Patria, y Libertad,” (God, motherland, and freedom) Maria Alvarez, draws inspiration from her Dominican heritage and perseverant family to help people live healthier lives.
Alvarez learned hard-working ways from her truck-driving father and education-seeking mother. When her family struggled with asthma and lung cancer, she stepped up in a big way as a researcher on these very topics.
Alvarez, who has a master’s degree in health education and health behaviors from Teachers College Columbia University, is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Hematology and Oncology Department at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
She has collaborated on studies and educational projects associated with cancer, prevention strategies, education, and determinants of health for more than a decade.
To further her training, Alvarez 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.
Alvarez’s heritage, growing research experience, and Exito! experience fuels her with the drive needed to achieve a PhD and help prevent cancer among Latinos.
“Since I came to United State it has been a non-stop process for my education,” Alvarez said. “The [Éxito!] Summer Institute has just confirmed that I am in the right path to continue with my dreams for higher education levels.”