Jesus Ramirez-Valles, a public health leader, scholar, author and filmmaker.
Ramirez-Valles is recognized for his expertise on health equity and global health. He has spent more than 20 years in academia leading educational programs, recruiting and mentoring faculty and doctoral students and, most recently, chairing the department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health, one of the top urban, minority-serving research institutions in the country.
Over the course of his career, he has received millions of dollars in research funding for studies on health inequality. Currently, he is co-principal investigator of the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of Illinois-Chicago and University of Chicago, a National Institutes of Health-funded Center of Excellence, to look at structural violence and how it creates or sustains health inequalities among ethnic, racial, sex and gender minorities.
Born in Mexico, Ramirez-Valles, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico and earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in Public Health from the University of Michigan. His life’s work has centered on critical health issues in the U.S. and abroad ranging from reproductive health, substance abuse to HIV prevention and economic development with women, youth and LGBT populations.
Ramirez-Valles is the author of the award-winning book, “Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS,” and the book “Queer Aging: The Gayby Boomers and the new Frontier in Gerontology.” He is also the creator of a documentary, “Tal Como Somos/Just As We Are,” about the lives of Latino gay men, transgender persons and people living with HIV/AIDS. He was named one of the “Top Gay Latino Activists who Have Broken Boundaries” by the Huffington Post.
He is editor-in-chief of the journal Health Education & Behavior and was previously editor-in-chief of Health Promotion Practice.
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