Ana M. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Dr. Rodriguez' research interests involve study of both the medical and epidemiological aspects of cancer prevention and control, particularly human papillomavirus (HPV)-related diseases and cancer. Her current research focuses on the dissemination, implementation, and sustainment of innovative and evidence-based practices to improve cancer screening and HPV vaccinations. Her research has been primarily funded by the Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Working with collaborators across several institutions, she develops and tests interventions in partnerships with community leaders and state and local departments of health to promote and disseminate evidence-based practices in clinical and community settings. In addition, she is analyzing some specific clinical outcomes among HPV-vaccinated females that could contribute to future changes in cervical cancer screening guidelines for HPV-vaccinated females.

Dr. Rodriguez is an emerging leader in the prevention of HPV-related diseases and cancer among high-risk populations. Under her leadership on the CPRIT project, Dr. Rodriguez' team successfully implemented one of the first school-based vaccination programs in the state of Texas. The school-based program dramatically increased HPV vaccination coverage in Starr County among 11–12-year-old adolescent males and females (the ideal age for HPV vaccination). This project demonstrates that a school-based vaccination program is both effective and feasible in increasing HPV vaccine coverage. Dr. Rodriguez is currently working on expanding this project to other counties in the state. Furthermore, Dr. Rodriguez is also working on increasing HPV vaccine uptake among other high-risk patients, i.e., pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors living in medically underserved areas, such as the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

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