Ellen Vitetta Named to Texas Women's Hall of Fame

Dr. Ellen Vitetta
© UT Southwestern

Vitetta is one of four class of 2006 members selected for the Texas Women's Hall of Fame, established in 1984 by the Governor's Commission for Women. The honour recognises individuals who have attained significant levels of achievement and whose contributions have made an enduring impact on the Lone Star State.

"I am truly honoured to be recognized by Governor Perry and to join such a remarkable and diverse group of women," said Vitetta, who holds the Scheryle Simmons Patigian Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunobiology. "It is vitally important that we foster young women's interests in science and medicine, and it is especially critical to attract girls into these fields, as well as to support women at all stages of their scientific careers," Vitetta said.

Vitetta served as chair of UT Southwestern's Women in Science and Medicine Advisory Committee for 10 years and has been a strong advocate for women in science and medicine on campus. In addition to the 15 faculty teaching awards she has earned from students, she was recently chosen as both a founding member of the UT Southwestern Academy of Teachers and the UT System's Academy of Health Science Education.

One of the most highly cited researchers in the country, Vitetta is known for her work characterizing B lymphocytes, a type of immune cell, and her co-discovery of Interleukin-4, an important molecule that helps regulate many cells, both within and outside the immune system.

In the 1980s, she turned her attention to translational, or "bench to bedside" research. She and her colleagues developed biological agents, or immunotoxins, to kill cancer cells through targeted therapy. These immunotoxins function selectively to eradicate cancer cells without damaging the surrounding normal tissue.

MEDICA.de; Source: UT Southwestern