Latino Aging Research Resource Center Scholars and Projects
Jane Chung, Ph.D.
Jane Chung is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing. Dr. Chung received her PhD in nursing and a Master of Science in nursing informatics from the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Chung’s program of research is directed toward developing, applying, and evaluating technology applications, including sensors and emerging technologies, to detect early mobility changes that may indicate functional deterioration and to promote healthy aging in older adults, with a special emphasis on ethnic minority older adults. She also continues to work on advancing the science by exploring older adults’ acceptability of novel sensor technologies in a sociocultural context.
Gladys Ibañez, Ph.D.
Dr. Gladys Ibañez is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health at Florida International University in Miami. She obtained her doctorate in 2002 from Georgia State University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has over 15 years of experience conducting public health research primarily focused on HIV and substance abuse. In 2012, she was awarded a R34 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop a DVD-based HIV and Hepatitis C intervention for Latino Criminal Justice Clients. Her primary areas of interest include HIV and substance abuse, HIV and cognition, LGBTQ health, Latino/a health, qualitative research, and intervention development. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as AIDS, AIDS and Behavior, and Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Viola G. Benavente, Ph.D., R.N., CNS
Viola Benavente is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University. Her research focus of promoting cardiovascular health among Latinas has been funded by an NIH/NINR individual NRSA, the Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the Intersections Kolvenbach Grants Program at Boston College, and the Research Enhancement Program at Texas State. Her work emphasizes that Latinas are a communication-vulnerable group of women, often handicapped to make informed decisions about their cardiovascular health because of language differences or cultural traditions that too frequently result in poor clinical outcomes, even with today’s advanced technology. Therefore, it becomes imperative to engage in preventive research aimed at achieving optimal health and well-being. Dr. Benavente was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Center for Health Disparities Research at the University of Pennsylvania where she received her PhD in nursing. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in the Biobehavioral Nursing Research Training Program, and was affiliated with the DeTorynay Center for Healthy Aging, where she became a lead investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative longitudinal study.
Maria Garcia, M.D., MPH
Maria Esteli Garcia is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, in San Francisco in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She was born in Mexico and moved to Oakland,California when she was young. She attended college at UC Berkeley (studying abroad in Brazil for a year) and then moved across country to complete medical school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She took two years off during medical school to complete an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health and then to conduct research on quality improvement efforts in HIV clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as part of the Fogarty International Clinical Scholars Program. After medical school, she completed Internal Medicine residency (SFPC) at UCSF. She stayed on for the Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCSF to pursue a career as a clinician-investigator. Her research and clinical interests lie in improving mental health services in primary care, especially for older patients with limited English proficiency.