Through excellence in cancer research, education, and community engagement, the Partnership between the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center aims to reduce health disparities derived from infection-driven malignancies in Texas and Puerto Rico, and increase the number of Hispanics pursuing careers in cancer research.


PMB 371 PO Box 70344 San Juan, PR 00936-8344

(787)-772-8300 Exts. (1119, 1150)

The overall goal of the Research Education Core (REC) is to produce a critical mass of Hispanic cancer investigators and health professionals dedicated to cancer research, treatment, and health disparities in unrepresented minorities and underserved communities by providing an integrated program of education and hands-on mentored research experiences. The specific aims of this core are:

  • To increase the number of Hispanic physicians, scientists, and physician scientists engaged in research in cancer, cancer health disparities, and infection-driven malignancies.
  • To create and implement a dual-degree MD/MPH track, emphasizing research on the study of infection-driven malignancies among Hispanic populations in Puerto Rico and across the US.
  • To design and implement an expanded curriculum, informed by community perspectives, with infection-driven malignancies and their impact on the health disparities of cancers incorporated into educational programs for learners at all levels.
  • To implement new Cancer Research Education didactic and research experiences targeted to students interested or already involved in healthcare.

The REC is led by Ilka C. Ríos, DMD, MS (REC Co-leader) Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD (REC Co-leader)

The Program Contact is the (REC Coordinator) Yomarie Santiago. You can reach her at or by calling
(787) 772-8300 Ext. 1101.