New Mexico State University

Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center

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Education and Training

Graduate Training in Cancer Research and Health Disparities

This graduate student-training program is based on the need to increase student and faculty interest at NMSU in cancer research, specifically among minority graduate students and faculty, and to increase the awareness of these issues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC).
The goal of this 3-years pilot project is to enhance training in cancer research for graduate students at both New Mexico State University (NMSU) and the FHCRC [in association with the graduate school at the University of Washington (UW)]. The project offers three options:

  1. Lab based graduate students at NMSU will spend three quarters at the FHCRC doing research in a lab that will augment research skills related to their dissertation research, and if appropriate, take courses through the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program at the University of Washington.
  2. Epidemiology and Public Health graduate students at the FHCRC will enhance their education in cancer research through a new course in "Health and Health Services Disparities in Minority Populations." Students from this course may be selected to participate in a two-week international practicum at The Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center (BEC) of NMSU, where they will be exposed to US-Mexico border health issues and ongoing research under Dr. Vilchis’ mentorship.
  3. Minority MPH students from the Department of Health Sciences will have the opportunity to complete a research practicum with groups a faculty mentor at the FHCRC. Faculty at FHCRC will assist students in future career training, including applying to the Ph.D. program at the UW/FHCRC.

More information about these oportunities could be find at our specific website.


Promotoras Cervical Cancer Screening Training

The BEC and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are working together with La Clinica de Familia, Ben Archer Health Centers, and Deming Healthy Start program to increase the number of pap tests that occur in a specific border community clinics. This 3-years pilot project funded by NIH, is training promotoras (community health lay workers) to provide information to and encourage women to receive pap testing.  Results will be available by August 2010.


Answering the Call:  Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Training

The BEC, in collaboration with UNM and UA, received an Emergency Preparedness and Response Training grant from HRSA. The BEC developed the US-Mexico border approach of the educational materials and developed two specific courses for Promotoras (health lay workers) and for members of the community.