Distinguished Achievement Award

Pelayo Correa, MD

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

The AGA honors Pelayo Correa, MD, with its Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has made major accomplishments in clinical research, basic research or an allied field that has advanced the science and or practice of gastroenterology.

Dr. Correa has long been recognized as a world-class authority on the pathology and epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers. He has been instrumental in identifying causal pathways in malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract, notably the multistage mechanisms involved in gastric carcinogenesis. Dr. Correa’s pathology background, coupled with his rich clinical cancer prevention experience, place him in a rarified atmosphere as a translational researcher.

During his exemplary career, which spans over 50 years, Dr. Correa has published more than 550 papers, monographs and chapters, the majority focusing on gastric cancer pathogenesis and epidemiology. He also has an extensive background in studying and applying novel strategies to prevent gastric cancer, which led to his role as a member of the World Health Organization committee that designated Helicobacter pylori as a Class I carcinogen. Dr. Correa is categorized by his peers as a leading investigator, mentor, and respected and valued colleague.

Dr. Correa’s outstanding academic career is decorated with recognition awards, including the inaugural American Cancer Society Award on Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology. He has received presidential appointments on the President’s Cancer Panel and the National Cancer Advisory Board. Additional evidence of Dr. Correa’s academic success is firmly established by the fact that he has held research funding from the NIH for over 30 years, is tenured, and has delivered multiple state-of-the-art lectures at national and international medical centers.

Dr. Correa received his medical degree and completed his first pathology internship at the Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia. After completing his residency at Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Hospital, Atlanta, GA, in 1954, Dr. Correa went on to become a fellow of the Kellogg Foundation. Subsequent to this training, he served as chairman of pathology and associate dean at the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, received the Centennial Medal of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and was invited to be a visiting scientist at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, from 1970 to 1973.

Since completing his education in 1974, Dr. Correa has served as a professor and board member at prestigious universities and research institutions across the U.S. and Colombia. He currently serves as Anne Potter Wilson professor of medicine, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

AGA Institute gratefully acknowledges AstraZeneca for making this award possible through a restricted grant.