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Cancer-Prevention Researcher Whose Work Focuses on Latino Health Issues Joins Fred Hutchinson Faculty

SEATTLE — Sep. 1, 2004 — Gloria Coronado, Ph.D., a cancer researcher whose work focuses on health issues that affect Latinos, has joined the faculty of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as an assistant member of the center's Public Health Sciences Division.

Coronado, previously a division staff scientist, has contributed to several recent studies aimed at improving the health of Mexican-American immigrants in central Washington.

Last year she was the lead author of a study, in collaboration with Beti Thompson, Ph.D., and colleagues, which found that farm workers in Washington's Lower Yakima Valley track significant amounts of pesticides into their homes, thus exposing their children to potentially harmful chemicals. The findings will enable the researchers to develop educational strategies to minimize this exposure.

"Gloria is a tremendous asset to our program," said Thompson, a member of the Public Health Sciences Division, whose research group led the effort. "She is a Mexican-American from Eastern Washington and understands the issues in the Yakima Valley. She blends science and application in a unique way that makes a tremendous contribution to our work with Hispanics," she said.

Coronado also has identified differences in cervical-cancer screening between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, work that provides a basis for the development of culturally sensitive programs aimed at boosting cancer-screening practices among Hispanic whites.

Coronado, who received her doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, will continue her research on cervical-cancer prevention by identifying and implementing interventions that reduce the impact of the disease among Hispanics. This work will explore the use of colposcopy (a method to examine the cervix using an endoscope) and overcoming barriers to its use among women who have abnormal Pap test results.

In addition, Coronado and colleagues will examine barriers to colonoscopy screening — a test for colorectal cancer — among patients with positive fecal-occult blood test results. Coronado also will continue pesticide-exposure research by examining exposure levels among workers in the Yakima Valley throughout the spray and non-spray seasons.

A future project will involve developing and testing an English as a Second Language curriculum to promote hepatitis B testing in Chinese Americans.

Editor's Note
A high-resolution digital color photo of Coronado is available by request.

Media Contact
Kristen Woodward
(206) 667-5095
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.fhcrc.org.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.