- Vice-Chair – Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine
- Director - Cancer Prevention and Control | Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine | Center of Emphasis in Cancer Associate Professor
Jennifer Molokwu received her M.D. from College of Medicine, University of Benin in Edo State, Nigeria. She obtained an M.P.H. in maternal and child health with an emphasis in epidemiology at the School of Public Health University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is board certified in family medicine after completing residency training at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2010. Her areas of interest include women’s health, cancer prevention, and primary care research. She is currently co-investigator on an AAFP grant investigating U.S./Mexico border women attitudes towards using self-sampling methods to detect cervix/vagina infections with the human papillomavirus and is currently actively involved in several CPRIT funded grants.
- Assistant Professor
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Jennifer Salinas is a health disparities researcher with a focus on the influence of social context on the etiology of chronic disease in the Mexican-origin population living in the United States and Mexico. She conducts research in both countries on social risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Over the past eight years her work has focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region by comparing border-residing Mexican Americans to those living in other parts of the United States, and in the Mexican interior. Currently, she is involved in three main projects: a promotora-led physical activity clinical trial, an El Paso-based obesity prevention program, and a breast cancer prevention and epidemiological study. Early findings from these efforts suggest that the unique social and economic environment of the Paso del Norte region serves as a barrier, as well as a facilitating factor, in the proliferation of specific diseases in the Mexican-origin population living in the region. Cultural issues may be beneficial, influencing behaviors that promote good health and prevent the onset of certain diseases. However, economic inequities, coupled with limited access to health-promoting resources, are risk factors that are not easily offset by the salubrious effects of traditional Mexican culture.
- The University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., Sociology-Demography (2006)
- University of Pennsylvania, M.S.W., Social Work (1995)
- University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A., Psychology (1993)
- DHHS – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, R01HL111718 (2016-2018)
Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Center of Emphasis in Cancer
- Research Instructor
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Over the past 13 years, Jessica Calderon-Mora has been involved in formative work, development of interventions, and implementation of cluster randomized trials related to prostate, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer prevention. Ongoing projects in which she is currently involved address cancer disparities among Hispanics in our region, a large percentage of whom are living below poverty and are uninsured. She has developed training manuals and conducted trainings for community health workers to implement screening programs and interventions among our Hispanic community. She has been intimately involved in the planning and implementation of community-based participatory research.
Through her role as a research instructor, she has taken the lead in implementing, dissemination and implementation strategies into several of our programs, namely the colorectal cancer screening program, which she has been involved with since its inception. She is interested in determining how to increase the completion rate of mailed out screening tests to Hispanic patients from a federally qualified health center.
In the future as an independent researcher, she plans to conduct dissemination and implementation research along with independent community-based participatory research. She will also use her experience with community health workers to address health disparities within our community and region. Her career goal is to become an accomplished researcher who contributes greatly to health disparities research related to cancer among a growing Hispanic population in the Paso del Norte region.
- Stanford University, B.A., Human Biology and Psychology (2001)
- The University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, M.P.H. (2004)
- The University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Dr.P.H. (2016)
- Master Certified Health Education Specialist (2005 - present)
- Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Alpha Iota Chapter (2005 - present)
Rebekah Salaiz obtained a BS (2004) in health science and MS (2007) in health promotion from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Rebekah has previously worked with UTEP College of Health Sciences for two grant funded programs in substance abuse prevention. In addition, she coordinated BASICS - Screening and Brief Intervention for UTEP college students, and a 3 year grant funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). Most recently she was a health educator with the El Paso City Public Health Department - WIC Program.
Adam Alomari, M.P.H., completed his undergraduate degree from UTEP with a focus in sociology and health promotion (2011). He earned an M.P.H. and a Certificate in Public Health Informatics (2014) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC at Houston). Throughout his academic career, he has held numerous research positions at UTHSC at Houston, TTUHSC El Paso, and the Paso Del Norte Institute for Healthy Living, all of which have been grant-funded projects focusing on health, prevention, and awareness.
- Research Associate
- Coordinator, BEST
Pracheta Matharasi, M.P.H., obtained her M.P.H from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2017 with honors. During her master’s program, she gained work experience as a research assistant, with job responsibilities including literature review, data collection, and data analysis. The projects that she worked on are Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) and the Environmental Lead study. She also worked as a teaching assistant for biology undergraduate students at UTEP. Pracheta joined the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Family and Community Medicine in January 2018 as a research associate for the SuCCCeS program.
Sarai Martinez completed her Bachelor of Science in health promotion with a minor in community health in 2012. Sarai previously worked at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe as a patient educator. She also worked as an outreach worker for the BEST program and Time to Get Vaccinated program at TTUHSC El Paso. She has been a research aide with the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Family and Community Medicine research division for three years. Sarai likes doing outside activities with her family and watching movies.
- Lead Analyst
- Coordinator, ¡Tiempo de Vacunarte!
Gabrielle Mendoza, joined Texas Teach University Health Sciences Center El Paso in 2021 as Lead Analyst for the Time to get Vaccinated program (Tiempo de Vacunarte). Before joining the team at TTUHSC, she gained research experience as part of the NIH funded BUILDing SCHOLARS biomedical research program at the University of Texas at El Paso for undergraduate researchers. During this time, Gabrielle worked on HPV vaccine adherence research, which she was recognized for her work and nationally awarded for her project. She continued her research experience through her graduate studies working on tobacco research focusing on vaping attitudes and perceptions. Gabrielle holds two bachelor’s degrees from UTEP, one in Sociology and the second in Women’s and Gender Studies (graduated 2018). Additionally she holds a Master’s degree, also from UTEP, in Sociology (graduated 2021) where she completed a thesis titled: Tobacco Trends in a Young Adult Hispanic Population. Gabrielle enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, and baking. Born and raised in El Paso, Gabrielle is excited to have the opportunity to work in the community that she is not only from but loves.