NEWS | May 15, 2013

Fenton recognized for cancer research with the 2013 Joan Oettinger Memorial Award


Joshua Fenton, a UC Davis associate professor of family and community medicine, is the recipient of the UC Davis School of Medicine’s 2013 Joan Oettinger Memorial Award for his research in cancer screening and prevention and his dedication to improving the quality of health-care services.

Joshua Fenton
Joshua Fenton

Fenton’s research focuses on enhancing the value and efficiency of primary-care services, including screening tests for breast and colorectal cancer. His most recent study showed that computer-aided detection — a costly and widely used mammography technology — finds some breast cancers better than mammography alone, however it also significantly expands false alarms and treatments for an early form of cancer that may never progress. Fenton’s work on breast cancer screening has been published in major medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Dr. Fenton's work is helping us determine if the use of certain health-care technologies necessarily leads to better patient care,” said Klea Bertakis, chair of the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine. “He is having a major national impact on the importance of relying on evidence-based medicine to guide treatment decisions.”

The Oettinger award, which will be given during the UC Davis School of Medicine spring general faculty meeting on May 22, is given annually for outstanding research in cancer or lung disease. It is named in honor of a UC Davis graduate student who died of lung cancer in 1970. Her husband, Martin, was a senior lecturer in economics at UC Davis before his death in 1986. The award recipient receives a stipend of $1,200.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at