My name is Dr. Marleah Dean Kruzel (PhD, Texas A&M University), and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and a courtesy faculty member in the Department of Global Public Health at the University of South Florida. I research the interpersonal patient-provider relationship in health communication. Specifically, I seek to understand the ways in which communication between healthcare providers, patients, and their families can influence health, well-being, and quality of life. This research interest has led me to two main areas of study—ambulatory care and cancer care. For example, one of my current research programs investigates individuals who are highly predisposed to breast and ovarian cancer due to the genetic mutation BRCA but have not been diagnosed with cancer.

My work has been published in journal outlets such as Health Communication, Journal of Genetic CounselingAcademic Medicine, Patient Education & Counseling, Journal of Health & Mass Communication, and Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management as well as invited as chapters in books including the Handbook of Communication Competence, Communicating Health: Personal, Cultural, and Political Complexities, Textbook of Palliative Care, and Organizations, Communication, and Health. In addition, I have presented my work on health communication at local, regional, and national conferences and international health conferences at St. Andrews University, Scotland, Heidelberg Germany, and Montreal, Quebec. In addition to research, I also love to teach. Two of my favorite classes are health communication and patient-provider communication.

As a BRCA2 carrier myself, I am also committed to giving back to the hereditary cancer community. For example, I am a volunteer for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)—an organization committed to making sure no patient or family member goes through hereditary cancer alone. I am also a committee member for the PCORnet (National Patient-centered Clinical Research Network) Research Committee--an innovative initiative of the Patient-centered Outcomes Research Institute known as PCORI. I am also a blogger for "The Patient and the Professor." Recently, my research and personal story was featured in the CDC's young women and breast cancer campaign "Bring Your Brave." To learn more, you can watch this video.