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Pre and Postdoctoral Training T32 Health of Older Minorities

Application Components
  • Send all completed materials to: Kelley Prevou,
    Research Project Manager
    (409) 747-1987
collage of scholar photos


Training Program Director: Rebeca Wong, PhD
Training Program Co-Director: Kyriakos S. Markides, PhD

Funded by the National Institute on Aging (AG T3200270), this program provides training for predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers interested in studying the health of older minorities, particularly older Hispanics.

Pre and postdoctoral fellows collaborate with Center faculty who have more than $16 million in annual external research funds pertaining to minority health and aging in the areas of health disparities, aging trajectories, medical outcomes, health service utilization, social epidemiology, rehabilitation, psychosocial stress, and health promotion.

Mentoring teams provide expert guidance in an environment proven to maximize progress toward independent researcher status. Funded investigators include sociologists, economists, demographers, physicians, epidemiologists, and statisticians.

Pre and postdoctoral trainees have the opportunity to present research at annual events like the Sealy Center on Aging's Annual Forum on Aging and the Clinical & Translational Research Forum. Fellows receive additional funding for travel and training expenses in addition to the NIH stipend level, as well as full health care benefits.


  • Soham Al Snih, MD, PhD
  • Jacques Baillargeon, PhD
  • Abbey Berensen, MD, PhD
  • Rachel Deer, PhD
  • Brian Downer, PhD
  • James S. Goodwin, MD
  • Bret Howrey, PhD
  • Daniel Jupiter, PhD
  • Sapna Kaul, PhD
  • Yong-Fang Kuo, PhD
  • Cynthia Li, PhD
  • Kyriakos Markides, PhD
  • Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD
  • Monique Pappadis, PhD, MEd
  • M. Kristen Peek, PhD
  • John Prochaska, DrPH
  • Mukaila Raji, MD, MSC
  • Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD
  • Gulshan Sharma, MD, MPH
  • Heidi Spratt, PhD
  • Elena Volpi, PhD, MD
  • Susan Weller, PhD
  • Rebeca Wong, PhD



This opportunity is open to predoctoral and postdoctoral students interested in aging research. Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. All applications will be reviewed by the Training Grant Selection Committee and applicants may be invited to interview.


Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. or permanent residents.

Trainee Benefits

Additional funds to cover tuition and fees for relevant courses and other training-related expenses Full health care benefits Predoctoral fellows - Earn a PhD degree in Population Health Sciences or Clinical Science (Health Services Research) in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health or other doctoral programs at UTMB


current predoctoral

  • Mariela Gutierrez (2020 - Present)
  • Roberto Rodriguez (2019 - Present)
  • Monica Hernandez (2018 - Present)

current postdoctoral

  • Phillip Cantu (2020 - present)

Past predoctoral

  • Paige Birkelbach (2017 - 2020)
  • Camille Brightwell (2017- 2019)
  • Catherine Hay (2017 - 2018)
  • Robert Buschmann (2015 - 2017)
  • Figaro Loresto (2014 - 2017)
  • Benjamin Vickers (2014 - 2017)
  • Joseph Saenz (2011 - 2016)
  • Lawrence Panas (2011 - 2013)
  • Thuy Quynh Do (2010 - 2012)
  • Kristen Sheffield (2008 - 2010)
  • Bret Howrey (2005 - 2008)
  • Julie Kutac (2007 - 2009)
  • Jackie Hirth (2006 - 2008)
  • Meredith Masel (2005 - 2007)
  • Ina Bawaya (2004 - 2006)

Past Postdoctoral

Sadaf Milani (2018 - 2020) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch

Marc Garcia (2016 - 2018) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position: Assistant Professor Department of Sociology University of Nebraska

Brian Downer (2014 - 2016) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position:  Assistant Professor Division of Rehabilitation Sciences University of Texas Medical Branch

Preeti Zanwar (2012 - 2014)
Mentor: Dr. Goodwin
Current Position: Professor Department of Mathematical Science University of Houston-Clear Lake

Sunshine Rote (2012 - 2014)
Mentor: Dr. Markides
Current Position: Assistant Professor Kent School of Social Work University of Louisville

Maria Monserud (2010 - 2012) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position: Assistant Professor Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Houston

Bret Howrey (2010 - 2011)
Mentor: Dr. Goodwin
Current Position: Assistant Professor Department of Family Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch

Holley Beard (2008 - 2010) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position: Head Office of Affordable Housing Research Ohio State Housing Finance Agency

Kristen Gerst (2008 - 2010) 
Mentor: Dr. Wong
Current Position: Assistant Professor Institute of Gerontology University of Georgia Frank Lemus 2008 - 2010 Dr. Freeman External Affairs Covered California Healthcare Exchange Sacramento, California

Jennifer Tovar (2006 - 2008) 
Mentor: Dr. Markides
Current Position: Assistant Professor University of Texas School of Public Health

Ivonne Berges (2005 - 2007)
Mentor: Dr. Peek
Current Position: Office of Academic Affairs, College of Public Health, University of Georgia

Patricia Harrington (2006 - 2007) 
Mentor: Dr. Freeman
Current Position: Acting Director of Health Technology Assessment Health Information & Quality Authority Dublin, Ireland

Vinod Kaushik (2005 - 2006) 
Mentor: Dr. Al Snih
Current Position: Assistant Professor Dept. of Internal Medicine-Geriatrics University of Texas Medical Branch

James Stimpson (2004 - 2006) 
Mentor: Dr. Eschbach
Current Position: Associate Professor Department of Surgery University of Texas Medical Branch