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We are excited to announce that Gabriella Alvarez, a dual social-clinical doctoral student, has been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s leadership development programs, designed to equip leaders across the country—in every sector and field—to collaborate, break down silos, and use their influence to make communities healthier and more equitable.

Specifically, Gaby was selected for the Health Policy Research Scholars program. Designed for second-year doctoral students from underrepresented populations and disadvantaged backgrounds, Health Policy Research Scholars helps researchers from all fields—from economics to epidemiology—apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse field of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics. The four- to five-year program provides participants with an annual stipend of up to $30,000.

As a member of the program’s newest cohort, Gaby will focus on utilizing tools in psychoneuroimmunology and affective neuroscience to study how social contexts affect psychobiological responses to stress. Ultimately, Gaby’s work aims to improve our understanding of how the social world sculpts biology, which will help reveal the mechanisms underlying socioeconomic and racial health disparities. In one specific research project, she explores how experiences of inequality might affect the immune system in ways that decrease mental and physical wellbeing. Gaby will also:
• Benefit from high-caliber curricula and coaching from national leaders.
• Collaborate with other cutting-edge thinkers to create greater impact.
• Accelerate his/her/their ability to build healthy communities, inform public opinion and policy, and contribute significantly to building a Culture of Health.

To learn more about the Health Policy Research Scholars program and RWJF’s other leadership development programs, and to meet other participants, visit the Health Policy Research Scholars Program online. Be sure to sign up for email updates that provide tips on the application process and insights into what current leaders are thinking about and learning.

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