The Next Generation of Biomedical Research: Implications for the Future of Healthcare

December 10, 2008

Northwestern University, Lurie Building – Baldwin Auditorium
303 E Superior St, Chicago, IL, United States


With Mary Hendrix – President and Scientific Director, Children’s Memorial Research

At no other time in history have we been this close to translating basic scientific discoveries into novel therapeutic strategies to benefit humankind. However, the traditional missions of academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry are almost diametrically opposed. Have we reached the point where ‘publish or perish’ is being replaced by ‘patent and prosper’?

Participants had a timely discussion with Dr. Mary Hendrix, President and Scientific Director, Children’s Memorial Research, about the role of industry competitiveness in biomedical research and its impact on the future of health care.

Northwestern University, Lurie Building – Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago Campus
Bio: Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix received her B.S. degree in Biology/Pre-Med from Shepherd College (now called Shepherd University) in 1974, her Ph.D. in Anatomy from George Washington University in 1977, and an honorary D.Sc. in 1996 from Shepherd College. Dr. Hendrix was an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology from 1977 to 1980; Assistant, Associate and Professor (and Associate Head) at the University of Arizona from 1980-1993 and served as an Arizona Disease Control Research Commissioner from 1985 to 1994. She was the Immuno-US Endowed Professor and Director of the Pediatric Research Institute, St. Louis University School of Medicine and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital from 1994-1996, prior to joining the faculty of The University of Iowa as the Leading Woman Scientist Endowment Recipient and Head of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in June 1996. She also served as the Kate Daum Research Professor, and Associate Director of Basic Research and Deputy Director for The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Iowa, for the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine from 1996-2004. Currently, she serves as President and Scientific Director, and the Medical Research Institute Council Professor, for the Children’s Memorial Research Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the US Editor of Pathology Oncology Research, and Member of the Editorial Boards of Lymphatic Research & Biology, Developmental Dynamics, Cancer Biology and Therapy, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, Cancer Research, the American Journal of Pathology, and Cancer Microenvironment. She is a Past-President of FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) consisting of over 70,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research societies in the United States. She also serves on the National Institutes of Health’s Council of Councils, the Board of Directors for the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, the Board of Directors for Research!America, and the Board of Directors for the Chicago Council on Science & Technology. Dr. Hendrix is a Past-President of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairpersons (AACBNC), and former Co-Director of the Virtual Naval Hospital. She has over 200 publications in biomedical research, and is the recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hendrix has been awarded the 2004 Australian Society for Medical Research Lecturer and Medal Recipient for research and advocacy, the 2006 Henry Gray Award by the American Association of Anatomists that recognizes achievement and unique and meritorious contributions to the field of anatomical science, the 2006 Distinguished Woman Faculty Award from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and the 2007 Murray Barr Award from the University of W4estern Ontario. Her scientific objectives include identifying genes which contribute to cancer metastasis and other related diseases which exhibit similar biological activities. Her major goal is to define important structure/function relationships, which provide the biological basis for new therapeutic strategies. Recent studies have generated molecular classification(s) of specific tumors, and have provided new prognostic markers and novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Current research activities focus on elucidating how regulatory molecules and phenotype control genes govern cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix interactions, epithelial/mesenchymal transitions, and motility. Specific projects include signal transduction events initiated by cell adhesion molecules and growth factors; factors regulating interconversion of the tumor cell phenotype; regulation of matrix metalloproteinases by tumor and stromal cell interactions; tumor angiogenesis and vasculogenesis; role of the microenvironment in inducing and maintaining an aberrant cellular phenotype; and the identification of stem cell subpopulations within tumors.