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Elizabeth Travis ’65

Elizabeth Travis '65

Elizabeth Travis is honored as a 2011 Distinguished Alumna for her work as a scientist and advocate for women in medicine and science. She is the associate vice president for Women Faculty Programs at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Mattie Allen Professor in Cancer Research.

Dr. Travis began her career by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from IUP in 1965. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Education with a Radiation Biology minor from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Graduate School of Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Travis has been an educator, researcher, lecturer, and scientist at leading institutions around the world, including the University of Pittsburgh, Medical University of South Carolina, the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and England’s Gray Laboratory at Mount Vernon Hospital.

Dr. Travis’s advocacy for the advancement of women began in the early 1990s, when she helped establish M. D. Anderson’s Women and Faculty Administrators Organization, a group committed to pursuing gender equity for women and minority faculty members. Her leadership for female faculty members began in 1998, when she served as director for Women Faculty Initiatives. She served as advisor to the vice president for Institutional Diversity on women’s issues from 2000 to 2001 and assumed the post of associate vice president for Academic Affairs in 2004. She has served in her current role since 2006.

As head of Women Faculty Programs at M.D. Anderson, Dr. Travis has developed programs to bring high-profile leaders to the institution, mentored numerous women faculty members, and identified opportunities to nominate women for awards outside and within the institution.

To inspire future generations of women scientists, she created the book Legends and Legacies: Personal Journeys of Women Physicians and Scientists at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Published in 2008, it features the personal journeys of twenty-six women faculty members in pursuit of their careers.

Dr. Travis and her partner, Jerry Hyde, reside in Houston, Texas. Together, they have five children: Scott, Anna, Jonathan, Sarah, and Stephen.

Profile published on 6/10/11

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