Nelson A. Atehortua De la Pena, MD, PhD, MPH, MS

Assistant Professor
Concentration: Behavioral and Environmental Health



Office Phone: 601-979-8852




Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia   MD   08/1992   Medicine
Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla Colombia MS   08/1996   Healthcare Management
 Western Kentucky University MPH   12/2006   Public Health
 Texas A&M University PhD   08/2012   Health Education
 University of the Sciences, Philadelphia Post-doctoral Training   05/2015   Public Health Genomics
 Utah State University & University of Utah Post-Doctoral Fellowship   05/2016   Neurodevelopmntal Disabilities & Austism 

Research/Professional Interests:

  • Local Tobacco and Vapor Product Control and Prevention
  • Chronic Con-Communicable Diseases and Cancer
  • Quality of Services & Access to Health Systems & Services
  • Public Health, ASD, Neuro-Developmental Disabilities & Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • Public Health Education & Promotion association with Disparities & E-Health among Minorities.


Positions and Honor

2012 Best New Investigator Award 


American Public Health Association- Genomics Forum
140th Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA

2010 Human Rights and Health Award 


Tobacco Control Team
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)

2007 – 2010 Fellow 


Mexican-American and Latino Research Center (MALRC)
Texas A&M University

2006 – 2009 Graduate Diversity Fellowship 


Texas A&M University

2006 Outstanding Graduate Student Award 


Department of Public Health
Western Kentucky University



Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

2013 Issa AM, Tufail W, Atehortua N, McKeeves J. (2013). A National Study of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Patient’s Decision Making for Novel Personalized Medicine Genomic Diagnostics. Personalized Medicine, 10(3), 245-256.
2012 Atehortua, N., Issa AM. (2012). A Method to Measure Clinical Practice Patterns of Breast Cancer Genomic Diagnostics in Health Systems. Personalized Medicine 9(6); 585-592. 
2012 Atehortua, N., Yang M., Issa, AM. (October, 2012). The Critical Value of Knowledge of Genomics Diagnostics by Cancer Survivors. Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE). 2012 Annual Meeting Program and Conference Proceedings, “Mining Golden Opportunities: Health Education Policy, Research & Practice”. San Francisco, CA.
2012 Cuffe S, Hon H, Qiu X, Masroor S, De Souza B, McFarlane G, Wong CKA, Tobros K, Azad AK, Hasani E, Rozanec N, Leighl NB, Atehortua N, Alibhai SMH, Xu W, Issa AM, Liu G. (2012). Cancer patients’ and physicians’ preferences for decision making regarding pharmacogenomic testing (PGT). J Clin Oncol 30, Suppl 34; abstr 13.


 Dr. Nelson A. Atehortua CV