TAMEST Names MD Anderson’s Dr. Florencia McAllister as the Recipient of the 2023 Mary Beth Maddox Award & Lectureship
TAMEST is pleased to announce Florencia McAllister, M.D., The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as the recipient of the 2023 Mary Beth Maddox Award and Lectureship in cancer research. She was chosen for her seminal discoveries at the intersection of microbes, the immune system and pancreatic cancer, leading to insights into early detection, prevention and therapeutic strategies to fight the disease.
The Mary Beth Maddox Award and Lectureship recognizes women scientists in Texas bringing new ideas and innovations to the fight against cancer. It was established in 2022 in honor of Mary Beth Maddox, former Executive Director of TAMEST, who passed away after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
Dr. McAllister is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention at MD Anderson. Her breakthrough discovery characterized the microbiomes present within pancreatic tumors, finding unique microbes and immune cells in long-term survivors.
Her group has also described a gut-tumor microbial axis. Based on this concept, they used human-into-mice fecal microbial transfers to demonstrate its influence on the host tumor microbiome, immune response and the natural course of the disease. A clinical trial based on this concept is ongoing in patients with pancreatic cancer.
Dr. McAllister’s work is opening the door to a novel angle of intervention for pancreatic cancer and holds great promise for improving the care and treatment of patients with cancer.
“It was my greatest pleasure to nominate Dr. Florencia McAllister for the Mary Beth Maddox Award and Lectureship, as her groundbreaking work on microbes as tumor modulators have played a major role in illuminating the role of the microbiome in cancer and in translating these insights into novel therapeutic trials,” said Nominator and TAMEST Member Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. (NAM, NAS), MD Anderson. “She is a true phenomenon and leader in the field of pancreatic tumor microenvironment, and I anticipate that her creative science will lead to new treatments and real hope for patients suffering from this dreaded disease. I know that our beloved Mary Beth Maddox would be thrilled with the recipient of this coveted award named in her honor.”
Dr. McAllister will be officially presented with the award on the first full day of the TAMEST 2023 Annual Conference: Forward Texas – Accelerating Change, on May 24, 2023, at The InterContinental – Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
In addition to being honored at the TAMEST Annual Conference, Dr. McAllister will promote her work and discoveries across the state through lectures at the four NIH National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Centers in Texas. The award covers the recipient’s travel and lodging for the lectures.