Our core purpose is to perform high quality patient-centered clinical research to improve approaches to gastrointestinal cancer prevention and early detection. Our research program is dedicated to improving identification and management of patients at increased risk of gastrointestinal cancers based on their family history and genetics, with the goal of improving cancer risk reduction interventions in high-risk populations. Our research program also focuses on optimizing colonoscopy quality and utilization. Our overall goal is to promote effective cancer risk reduction strategies that will decrease the burden of cancer in our society.
To accomplish this mission, we conduct a wide array of clinical research studies supported by diverse partners, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), The American Cancer Society, the Cancer League of Colorado, the University of Colorado Cancer Center and industry partners. We are dedicated to disseminating our findings to the public and the international scientific community through abstracts, publications, poster presentations, oral presentations and grants.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk & Prevention Center
University of Colorado Division of Gastroenterology
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Dr. Patel completed a Masters in Health Systems Administration from Union University and attended Albany Medical College for her medical degree. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Colorado. She is the Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at the Anschutz Medical Center where she cares for patients at high risk for cancer based on their family history and genetics. She also is a Staff Physician at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Her core research is in (1) improving identification and management of patients at increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer based on family history and genetics and (2) optimizing colonoscopy training and quality. The overarching goal of this research is to decrease the burden of cancer in society. She also is a dedicated educator, with teaching responsibilities in the University of Colorado Department of Medicine (Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training programs), the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and The University of Colorado School of Public Health.
In addition to her clinical, research and teaching roles, she is active in national and international organizations dedicated to cancer prevention. She was the 2022 President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers with continued leadership in that organization. She serves on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Steering Committee , an organization dedicated to successfully convening and engaging public, private, and civic organizations and individuals committed to colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. She sits on the United States Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, where she recently led the updated colorectal cancer screening guidelines which now recommend decreasing the age to start screening from 50 to 45. She serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Colorectal Cancer Screening Panel and the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board. She also mentors trainees at various stages including medical students, residents and gastroenterology fellows.
View published work here.
12/2021 The Colon Cancer Conundrum
03/2019 Colorectal Cancer: What we Know