Leticia Márquez-Magaña, PhD is the Director of the Health Equity Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University. She is the first-born daughter of Mexican immigrants and began her education in the U.S. as a monolingual Spanish speaker. Professor Márquez-Magaña attended Stanford University as the first member of her extended U.S. family to complete high school, and went on to earn a PhD in Biochemistry at UC Berkeley. She joined the faculty at SF State in 1994 targeting her personal and professional efforts to “giving back” to the communities that she came from.
Upon joining the faculty at SF State, Dr. Márquez-Magaña initiated a successful research program that led to the training of significant numbers of Latino students for careers in the biomedical sciences. In recognition of this, and her broader efforts to diversify the scientific workforce, Márquez-Magaña was awarded a Mentor Award by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001 and a Bay Area Jefferson Award in 2013. Since 2007 she has been transitioning to research on cancer health disparities. In this effort she is currently engaged in studies aimed at understanding the underlying biology that contributes to health disparities. This research and her continued mentoring of minority students for biomedical careers comprise her ongoing efforts to make a difference in science.