Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D., M.D.
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
The Scheryle Simmons Patigian Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunobiology
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Minnie Piper Professor
Director, UT Southwestern Cancer Immunobiology Center
Ellen Vitetta, Ph.D., M.D., is one of the nation’s most respected—and honored—researchers and scientists. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Academy of Cancer Immunology, Dr. Vitetta is among the 100 most cited biomedical scientists of the past several decades.
An immunologist who does translational (“bench to bedside”) research, Dr. Vitetta has published nearly 500 papers, edited several books, and is a co-inventor on 14 issued patents. Over the past two decades, she has developed antibody-based “biological missiles” to destroy cancer cells and cells infected with HIV. In 2001, Dr. Vitetta developed a vaccine against ricin.
Dr. Vitetta has been the recipient of the Pierce Immunotoxin Award, a National Institutes of Health Merit Award, 15 faculty teaching awards, the Basic Science Educator Award, and the Minnie Piper Teaching Award. In addition, she has received the FASEB Excellence in Science Award, the American Society for Microbiology Abbott Clinical Immunology Award, and the American Association for Cancer Research Rosenthal Prize. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, and the Board of Scientific Counselors–Office of AIDS Research. She has also served on the editorial board of 20 journals and was Editor-in-Chief of Therapeutic Immunology.
A past president of the American Association of Immunologists, Dr. Vitetta is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. In 2004, Dr. Vitetta’s former graduate student, Dr. Linda Buck, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Dr. Richard Axel. In 2006, Dr. Vitetta was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame by Governor Rick Perry. The following year, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Immunology. In 2011, Dr. Vitetta received one of 10 Minnie Piper Professorships in Texas.