Esmeralda Ramirez-Peña, Ph.D., M.P.H. received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her doctoral research investigated the metabolic changes that metastatic breast cancer cells undergo following the epithelial to mesenchymal transition. She also explored combination therapeutic strategies to simultaneously target cancer stem cells and differentiated cancer cells in breast tumors. After her Ph.D., Dr. Ramirez-Peña became a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. As part of her fellowship, she completed a Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Here she worked on health disparities research and analyzed Maryland state and national cancer registry data to evaluate the risks in African American women for being diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer before and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Ramirez-Peña is currently a fellow in the Division of Cancer Prevention Breast and Gynecologic Cancer research group under the mentorship of Dr. Heckman-Stoddard. She is also a part of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Science where she works with Dr. Serban Negoita, chief of the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch (DQAIB) in the Surveillance Research Program. Her research interests include breast cancer chemoprevention, clinical trials, cancer registry operations, recurrence, and health disparities.