Dr. Marcia Cruz-Correa completed her B.S. in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), and her medical degree at the UPR Medical School. Dr. Cruz-Correa continued her training in Internal Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico Hospital, and subsequently a fellowship in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Dr. Cruz-Correa completed a doctorate degree in Clinical Investigation and Genetic Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Cruz-Correa is an Associate Professor of Medicine & Biochemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research focuses in gastrointestinal oncology, including the study of epigenetics and genetics in gastrointestinal cancer, hereditary GI cancers, and chemoprevention of gastrointestinal neoplasia.
Dr. Cruz-Correa leads a Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the UPR Cancer Center, which is integrated by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, basic and clinical scientists, and epidemiologists with an expertise in gastrointestinal cancer. The main focus of the Program is to elucidate genetic and epigenetic pathways for colorectal carcinogenesis among Hispanic patients. Evaluation of environmental and nutritional factors as effect-modifiers and gene-environmental interactions is an active investigative priority. Dr. Cruz-Correa and her team developed the first population-based familial colorectal cancer registry in Puerto Rico that currently has over 500 colorectal cancer patients with detailed epidemiological and environmental information (http://purificar.rcm.upr.edu). A second research area is chemoprevention, and Dr. Cruz-Correa leads an NCI sponsored clinical trial evaluating the role of bioflavinoids (curcumin) as a chemopreventive agent in adult patients with Familial Adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and is a co-investigator evaluating the use of celecoxib in pediatric patients with FAP. In addition, her group is a member of the Polyp Prevention Study Group (11-site national consortia, lead by Dr. John Baron, Dartmouth University) participating in several clinical trials aimed at evaluating different compounds for chemoprevention of sporadic colorectal adenomas. Dr. Cruz-Correa’s research is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and other private foundations including Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Cancer Research Prevention Foundation.
Dr. Cruz-Correa has published over 50 original publications, is a reviewer of several NCI special review panels, and reviewer for numerous medical journals including Gastroenterology, Cancer Research, and GUT. She is actively involved as a Chair or committee member in several national gastroenterology societies, including the American Gastroenterology Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and is President of the Puerto Rico Gastroenterology Association.