M. Elena Martínez, PhD, MPH, co-director of the Arizona Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program and professor of epidemiology at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, is The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Distinguished Alumnus for 2010.
Dr. Martínez will be honored Nov. 11 during the university's Faculty Honors Convocation. She will deliver the Distinguished Alumnus Lecture that day -- "Colorectal Cancer Prevention: Opportunities for a Fruitful and Challenging Career."
At the Arizona Cancer Center, Dr. Martínez also co-directs the Cancer Health Disparities Institute. She is the Richard H. Hollen Professor of Cancer Prevention.
Dr. Martínez received her master's of public health and doctoral degrees from The University of Texas - Houston. She recently began a five-year term on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors.
Dr. Martínez has extensive research expertise in colorectal cancer and, more recently, in health disparities. Since the early 1990s, she has been studying the risk factors associated with cancer, especially colon cancer.
In addition to looking at the markers in a population’s genetic makeup that could increase or decrease the risk, Dr. Martínez also studies the factors that are under the control of an individual, such as diet, smoking and physical activity.