Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D.
HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot
About Dr. Gillison
Maura L. Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Medicine, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. She is a recognized expert in head and neck medical oncology, molecular epidemiology and virology. Her laboratory has made substantial contributions to public health and standards of care for head and neck cancers (HNC). Accomplishments include: discovery of the link between HPV and HNC; identification of the ongoing epidemic of HPV-positive HNC in developed countries; development and validation of diagnostics for HPV-positive HNC used worldwide; establishment of tumor HPV status as the greatest determinant of HNC prognosis, resulting in a new AJCC staging system; development of the NCCN guidelines for clinical management of HPV-positive HNC; development and validation of methods for detection of oral HPV infection; completion of US population-based studies of oral HPV infection, supporting CDC recommendations for HPV vaccination of boys and FDA approval of HPV vaccination for prevention of oral HPV infection and associated cancers; design of the clinical trial of nivolumab for HNC, leading to FDA approval; design of the phase 3 clinical trial establishing the standard of care for HPV-positive HNC; publication of the comprehensive genomic landscape of HPV-positive HNC; discovery of HPV integration-induced host genomic instability. Dr. Gillison is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has numerous articles published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, among others. She is a CPRIT scholar.
Fighting Cancer: It's Personal
What’s your Moon Shots focus?
I assist my talented colleagues with oversight of the entire program.
What makes your fight against cancer personal?
I am on a mission.
What motivates and excites you?
I seek to impact global standards for cancer prevention and treatment.
What makes the Moon Shots Program stand out?
It allows us to take risks that other funding opportunities would view as “too risky.”
What do you hope to accomplish?
Prevent and cure cancer.
What else do you want people to know about you and your work?
We are all dedicated and working very hard!