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Maria Quiñones-Cordero, PhD

Maria Quiñones-Cordero, PhD

(Pronouns: she/her/ella)
  • Associate Director of Center Activities, Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing
  • Faculty Diversity Officer, Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing


  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, 2016. Ponce Health Sciences University. Ponce, PR
  • Masters in Clinical Psychology, 2014. Ponce Health Sciences University. Ponce, PR
  • BA in Psychology, 2010. University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. Mayaguez, PR


Maria Quiñones-Cordero, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, is an assistant professor of clinical nursing. She currently serves as one of the two Faculty Diversity Officers on the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the School of Nursing. Quiñones is the Lead of the Hispanic/Latino Engagement Core at Roybal Center for Social Ties & Aging Research and the Associate Director of Center Activities at the Elaine Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging.

Current Focus

Quiñones’ research program has both methodological and applied themes. A key focus of Quiñones’ work is on mechanism-based intervention development and delivery aimed at reducing Latino health disparities. She leads work on expanding and implementing systematic approaches to cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions to fit the needs and characteristics of the Latino culture in order to improve access to and delivery of care, as well as cognitive and mental health-related outcomes. She also focuses on mechanisms in cognitive and mental health outcomes among middle-aged and older adults. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the relationships among cognition, inflammation, and mental health symptoms (i.e., depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms) and the contributions of aging on these relationships. Her overall aim is to develop or identify interventions that effectively target these mechanisms to improve cognitive and mental health and quality of life, particularly among middle-aged and older Latinos.

Quiñones earned her bachelor's from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus, and an master's and PhD and in clinical psychology from the Ponce Sciences University in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Quiñones completed her clinical internship in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She completed her postdoctoral training in cognitive aging and psychoneuroimmunology at the University of Rochester School of Nursing.


Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Award
University of Rochester School of Nursing, 2022


. Understanding Dementia Care Barriers among Latino Caregivers
University of Rochester Medical Center Summer Poster Session, 2023

Latinos’ Engagement in Behavioral Medicine Trials: Fostering Success
44th Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, 2023

Recruiting Socially Disconnected middle age and older Latinos caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia
44th Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, 2023

Mindfulness Training to Improve Dementia Caregivers’ Emotion Regulation and Depressive Symptom Resilience
Kathi Heffner
44th Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, 2023

Engaging Older Latino Caregivers on Design of a Cultural Adaptation Clinical Trial
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry Annual Meeting, 2023

Latino Community Engagement in Cultural Adaptation of Evidence-Based Interventions
Silvia Sorensen
Rochester Roybal Center Seminar Series, Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research, 2022

Cognitive Training to Promote Healthy Aging in Caregivers of a Loved One with Dementia: Rationale and Methods for Targeting Mechanisms to Improve Caregiver Interventions.
NIH National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers, 2020

Considerations and Strategies for Recruitment and Retention of Older Adults, Including Older Caregivers.
41st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2020

Connection for Latinos Caring for a Family Member with Dementia.
Caroline Silva
Annual Roc STAR Research Symposium, Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research, 2020


  • Lane, J.M., Zimmer, A., Quiñones–Cordero, M.M., & Sörensen, S. (2024). Racial differences in the effect of verbal and nonverbal memory on concrete planning for future care needs among older adults: a multi-group structural equation modeling approach. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. PMID: 37317954 PMCID: PMC10721738 DOI: 10.1080/13825585.2023.2223902

  • Fowler, L.A., Quiñones-Cordero, M.M., Sidani, J.E., Bernhart, J.A., Mendoza-Vasconez, A., Bannon, S.M., & Unni, E.J. (2024). The urgency of restructuring the landscape of behavioral medicine: Commentary from early-career diversity institute scholars. Translational Behavioral Medicine. PMID: 37897410 PMCID: PMC10890817 DOI: 10.1093/tbm/ibad068

  • Quiñones, M.M., Sörensen, S., Hepburn, K., Capellan, J., & Heffner. K.L. (2023). Community-Engaged Research With Latino Dementia Caregivers: Overcoming Challenges in Community Advisory Board Development. The Gerontologist. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnad144

  • Quiñones, M.M., Silva, C., Ross-Asare, Sörensen, S., Serrano, R., Van Orden, K., & Heffner, K. (2023). Recruiting Socially Disconnected Latinos Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned. Clinical Gerontologist. PMID: 37005703 PMCID: PMC10542654 DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2023.2197895

  • Wang J., Cheng Z., Kim Y., Yu F., Heffner K., Quinones M.M., & Li Y. (2022). Pain and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia Spectrum in Community-Dwelling Older Americans: A Nationally Representative Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. PMID: 35081442 PMCID: PMC9035327 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2022.01.012

  • Heffner, K., Quiñones, M. M., Gallegos, A. M., Crean, H. F., Lin, F. V., & Suhr, J. A. (2021). Subjective memory in adults over 50 years of age: Associations with affective and physiological markers of emotion regulation.. Aging & Mental Health. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2021.1904829

  • Quinones, M.M., Gallegos, A.M., Lin, F.V. & Heffner, K. (2020). Dysregulation of inflammation, neurobiology, and cognitive function in PTSD: an integrative review. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. PMID: 32170605 PMCID: PMC7682894 DOI: 10.3758/s13415-020-00782-9

  • Quiñones, M.M., Lombard-Newell, J., Sharp, D., Way, V., & Cross, W. (2018). Case study of an adaptation and implementation of a Diabetes Prevention Program for individuals with serious mental illness. Translational Behavioral Medicine. PMID: 29346678 DOI: 10.1093/tbm/ibx064

  • Heffner, K.L., France, C.R., Ashrafioun, L., Quiñones, M., Walsh, P., Maloney, M.D., Giordano, B.D., & Pigeon, W.R. (2018). Clinical pain-related outcomes and inflammatory cytokine response to pain following insomnia improvement in adults With knee osteoarthritis. The Clinical Journal of Pain. PMID: 30134281 PMCID: PMC6219931 DOI: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000644

  • Quiñones, M.M., Maldonado, L., Velazquez, B., & Porter, J.T. (2016). Candesartan ameliorates impaired fear extinction induced by innate immune activation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 52, 169-177. PMID: 26520214 PMCID: PMC4715962 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.10.017

  • Quiñones, M., Urrutia, R., Torres-Reverón, A., Vincent, K., & Flores I. (2015). Anxiety, coping skills and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with endometriosis. Journal of Reproductive Biology and Health, 3 (1), 2. PMID: 26900480 PMCID: PMC4755521 DOI: 10.7243/2054-0841-3-2

  • Quiñones, M., Larrieux, V., & Pons-Madera, J. (2015). Adaptación cultural del modelo “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” para tratamiento de dolor (Cultural adaptation of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy model for chronic pain treatment). Revista Puertorriqueña de Pscología (Puerto Rican Journal of Psychology).

  • Clinton, A., Quiñones, M.M., & Christo, C. (2011). Phonological awareness: Cross-linguistic comparisons with a focus on Spanish,Conciencia fonológica: Comparaciones lingüísticas cruzadas con un enfoque en el español. Interamerican Journal of Psychology. DOI: 10.30849/rip/ijp.v45i2.156


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