Faculty Educator of the Month: July 2010

Elsa R. Flores, Ph.D.

Elsa R. Flores, Ph.D., regular member of the faculty in the Division of Basic Science Research at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS) and assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, has been named the July 2010 Faculty Educator of the Month.

In her relatively short time at MD Anderson and the GSBS, Dr. Flores has been a significant contributor to the education of trainees at both institutions. Specifically, she has been an instructor for the Cancer Cell Signaling course at the GSBS for five different semesters. Also, she has been an instructor for The Molecular Basis of Programmed Cell Death course.

Furthermore, Dr. Flores has mentored many students, as she has served as the chair or a member of advisory committees for 22 students, supervisory committees for 24 students and examining committees for 21 students at the GSBS. Also, she has been a research mentor for five undergraduate students, three GSBS Ph.D. students and three postdoctoral research fellows. Many of her undergraduate trainees have gone on to enroll in Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs at top-tier institutions, including Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Before coming to MD Anderson and the GSBS, Dr. Flores was an instructor for an undergraduate cancer biology course at MIT. In addition, she was a research mentor in the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Dr. FloresDr. Flores has been recognized several times for both her educational and research activities. Most recently, she was named MD Anderson Faculty Scholar for 2010-2013. She also received an MD Anderson Faculty Development Award for 2006-2007 and the MD Anderson Bladder Cancer SPORE Career Development Award for 2007-2009 and was named an American Cancer Society Research Scholar for 2007-2010. Additionally, Dr. Flores is an American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2007-2010) and was a V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar (2005-2007), Rita Allen Foundation Scholar (2005-2008), and Hildegarde D. Becher Foundation Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (2003-2006). She also received the March of Dimes - Basil O’Connor Starter Award for 2006-2008 and the William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation Scholar Award for 2003-2007.

Dr. Flores received her Ph.D. degree in cancer biology from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 1999. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in 2004.

Upon finishing her postgraduate training, Dr. Flores was named to her current positions at MD Anderson and the GSBS. During her time here, she has chaired the Review Committee for International Applicant for Admission to the Cancer Biology Program at the GSBS and served on the MD Anderson Faculty Senate, GSBS Admissions Committee, Blaffer Steering Committee, American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grants Program Committee and Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee for the Genes and Development Ph.D. Program.

Dr. Flores has gained international recognition for her research, as she has organized and given presentations at conferences and seminars throughout the world. In addition, she has been a principal investigator or co-investigator for 11 funded research projects, served on three grant study sections and been a reviewer for two other agencies. Finally, over the past 14 years, Dr. Flores has been a reviewer for several journals and has authored 14 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, three invited articles and two book chapters.