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National Institute of Health Selects Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez as an LRP Awardee

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) selected Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health and deputy director of the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, as one of this year’s eight awardees. Each year, the NIH awards eight extramural LRP awards for researchers who are not employed by the NIH and three intramural awards for researchers who are.  

As the costs for advanced education and training in medicine and clinical fields are increasing, some scientists are forced to abandon their research careers for higher-paying jobs in private industries or for private practice careers. LRP awards, which were established by Congress, are intended to recruit and retain highly-qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. To offset financial pressure, the LRPs reimburse up to $50,000 to the researcher's educational debt. In return, awardees are committed to engaging in NIH-relevant research.

Dr. Caban-Martinez has published over 180 publications and has active programs of research in the epidemiologic surveillance of cancer burden in firefighters, as well as in musculoskeletal pain management. He has had studies published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Cancer Prevention Research, the American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Trends in Parasitology, Journal of Smoking Cessation, and Neuropharmacology.

This past year, Dr. Caban-Martinez co-chaired the inaugural State of the Science National Firefighter Cancer Symposium, which was hosted by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The mission of the two-day symposium was to help initiate a roadmap to control and prevent cancer in firefighters and volunteers in the U.S. Fire Service.

Currently, he serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and is an instructor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also serves as co-principal investigator of the National Firefighter Cancer Cohort Study and co-director of the Miami Occupational Research Group. 

In October 2018, he was selected to chair the Safety and Occupational Health Study Section of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Dr. Caban-Martinez has also been involved with the American College of Epidemiology by serving as the chair for the Career Mentoring Committee, as well as a member of their Annual Meeting Programming Committee. Other organizations that he has been involved in include the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Public Health Association, National Board of Public Health Examiners, and the National Occupational Research Agenda.

In 2001, he earned his Master of Public Health degree from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Caban-Martinez completed the doctoral epidemiology program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in May 2011 and attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He thereafter completed his pre-doctoral training at the Clinical Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal Education and Training Program at Harvard Medical School, as well as the Environmental and Occupational & Epidemiology program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on August 20, 2019