As a Mexican-American with deep indigenous roots, Dr. Garcia's career has been dedicated to understanding and mitigating the inequities that impact their communities. The result of this commitment is a nineteen-year track record of leading multi-disciplinary community-engaged scholarship and practice in genuine partnership with southwestern Mexican American border communities and American Indian populations. As a translational physician scientist, he has lead a productive program of investigation and translation in the area of cervical cancer prevention which spans molecular marker discovery, development and evaluation of screening and early detection technologies, clinical trials of chemopreventive agents, and community-based interventions. Based on this record, he is recognized internationally as a thought leader in cervical cancer prevention, especially in low-resource settings and among low income minority populations. Dr. Garcia brings that technical expertise and experience to the current U54 application.
In addition to his technical and scientific expertise, Dr. Garcia is an experienced mentor and research administrator. In the former capacity he served for ten years as the Director of the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, a Health Resource Services Administration funded medical workforce development initiative with a prominent junior faculty development component. This track record led to the Arizona Biomedical Scientist Development Program, an NIH/NIMHD endowment grant (2006 Co-PI) that he helped support the training of a diverse biomedical workforce in Arizona.
Likewise, he was the co-founder of the University of their Arizona Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, a unit that fostered collaborative trans-disciplinary research, which he led from 2006 until 2013. From 2010 to 2013, he served as PI and Director of the HRSA funded Maternal Child Health Leadership Training Program, which supported junior faculty development and research in Public Health. More recently and directly relevant to the current application, he served as one of two PIs (multiple PI) for the Native American Cancer Partnership from the NCI (U54) which included a significant community informed research project and training programs related to American Indian cancer prevention. Finally, in his new capacity as the chief executive and medical officer for a large public health jurisdiction (the size of the state of New Hampshire) along the US-Mexico border with nearly a million diverse residents, he has unique insight into the genuine translation of biomedical knowledge to population settings.