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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

Cruz-Correa To Give NCI Seminar, May 16

Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa

Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa

Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa will present the next lecture in the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities’ (CRCHD) Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Distinguished Scholars Seminar (DSS) Series on Thursday, May 16, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. ET. Her talk is titled, “Molecular Disparities in Familial and Sporadic Gastrointestinal Cancer: A Model for a Physician-Scientist Career,” and can be attended in person at NCI Shady Grove or via Webex. 

Cruz-Correa will describe hereditary cancer syndromes in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, as well as germline and molecular profiles most predominant in Hispanic GI cancer patients. She will also review her involvement in developing a population- and clinic-based cancer registry and share a physician-scientist pathway within a minority serving institution, focusing on people, place, passion and purpose.

A former CURE K22 and R21 scholar, Cruz-Correa is professor of medicine at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), investigator at the UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center and adjunct associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. In 2020, she became the first woman executive director of the UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A physician-scientist with a strong focus on prevention, hereditary cancer and health disparities, Cruz-Correa is lead investigator for multiple NCI-funded clinical research programs and has been continuously funded by NIH for more than 19 years. Her research focuses on understanding the etiology and genetics of GI cancer, use of endoscopic methods for screening and surveillance of GI cancer and use of biological agents to intercept or treat cancer using early-phase clinical trials. 

Cruz-Correa’s career as a clinical investigator has combined her advanced endoscopic therapeutic skills focused on GI oncology, specifically understanding interception in the progression of disease for patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, Lynch Syndrome, Barrett’s esophagus, GI metaplasia and colorectal cancer.

In addition to being a two-time CURE grantee, Cruz-Correa has also been involved in CRCHD’s Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity program as an investigator, principal investigator and internal advisory committee member for the UPR-MD Anderson Cancer Center U54 partnership. She is also a member of the center’s newly announced Cancer Equity Leaders. 

Since 2021, she has been elected to the governing board of the Association of American Cancer Institutes and the Alliance Foundation for Clinical Oncology. Cruz-Correa was recently elected as the first Puerto Rican female member of the honorary Association of American Physicians. She is founding president of the Puerto Rico Colorectal Cancer Coalition, a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing awareness for colorectal cancer, education, and health policy efforts in Puerto Rico.

Cruz-Correa is a past board member of the National Cancer Advisory Board and the American Gastroenterological Association. She is also editor of several medical journals, including Gastroenterology and AACR Cancer Prevention Research. She has more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has mentored over 50 graduate students, residents and GI fellows as thesis/research advisor.

CURE supports individuals from diverse backgrounds across the academic continuum through a pathway of research funding opportunities. The DSS series recognizes outstanding former CURE scholars and their research.

Attend in person (NCI Shady Grove, Seminar Rm. 110) or via Webex at Individuals who need reasonable accommodation, email at least five business days before the event.

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