Associate Professor, Division of Public Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
Dr. Sutcliffe is an epidemiologist whose longstanding research interest is infectious causes of cancer and chronic diseases. Her research to date has focused on infectious or inflammatory causes of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), including studies on the possible roles of gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia trachomatis infection, Trichomonas vaginalis infection, human papillomavirus infection, human herpesvirus type 8 infection, and several other viral infections in prostate cancer and/or BPH development. She is currently continuing to pursue this line of investigation with further studies examining the possible role of Trichomonas vaginalis infection, a common sexually transmitted protozoan infection, in prostate cancer development; studies investigating the extent of prostate involvement during sexually transmitted infections; and studies examining the role of anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, in BPH development.
Another focus of Dr. Sutcliffe’s research is possible early-life causes of prostate cancer that act in utero or in adolescence when the prostate is rapidly growing and developing. While these causes may include sexually transmitted infections, which are typically acquired when men are young, they may also include other factors, such as early-life diet, hormones and physical activity. She is currently performing pilot studies to address this line of investigation.
Finally, Dr. Sutcliffe also performs research on possible causes of symptom flare-ups in men and women with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome and men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.