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M. D. Anderson Researcher Receives National Honor from American Society for Preventive Oncology

M. D. Anderson Researcher Receives National Honor from American Society for Preventive Oncology
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/14/01

The American Society of Preventive Oncology has recognized a nationally prominent behavioral scientist at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for her contributions to the field.  Dr. Ellen R. Gritz, chair of the Department of Behavioral Science, received the society's Distinguished Achievement Award recently during the organization's Silver Anniversary meeting held in New York, NY.  Her acceptance address was titled "2001:  The Monolith of Cancer Prevention: Challenge and Promise for Humanity."

The ASPO Executive Committee nominates only individuals demonstrating exemplary
achievement in cancer prevention research, and the entire membership selects the award recipient.  "Dr. Gritz is an established leader in cancer prevention and control research," says Dr. Alfred Neugut, past president of ASPO.  "She is known internationally for her smoking-related research, including her recent contribution to the Surgeon General's report on women and smoking," he says.  Other areas of her work include skin cancer prevention, chemoprevention, psychosocial aspects of cancer prevention and early detection and treatment-related quality of life. 

Dr. Gritz' research builds on three decades of experience in risk-related behaviors and psychosocial adjustment to cancer and its after-effects.  Current investigations include:

  • Determining predictors of smoking initiation in white, Hispanic and African-American youth.
  • Studying an intervention to reduce sun exposure in preschool children.
  • Describing psychosocial aspects of genetic testing and counseling for individuals with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.
  • Examining whether increased physical activity can lead to better symptom management and an overall feeling of well-being in prostate cancer patients undergoing hormone therapy.
  • Investigating cognitive function and quality of life after testicular cancer treatment.

Dr. Gritz holds the Frank T. McGraw Memorial Chair in the Study of Cancer and has served on numerous review and policy boards, including the National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute
of Medicine (IOM) and Commission on Life Sciences (1997-99) and the IOM Board on Health
Promotion and Disease Prevention (1995-present).  She sits on the External Advisory
Committees of six cancer centers, is active in the Southwest Oncology Group and served as president of ASPO from 1993 - 1995.

Dr. Gritz joined M. D. Anderson in 1993 as chair of the Department of Behavioral Science.  Dr. Gritz earned her doctorate in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, in 1971.


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