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Physician-scientist Jennifer M. Scalici, M.D., has been named the recipient of the 2021 Mayer Mitchell Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.

Published Dec 10th, 2021

By Carol McPhail
cmcphail@health.southalabama.edu

Physician-scientist Jennifer M. Scalici, M.D., has been named the recipient of the 2021 Mayer Mitchell Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.

Scalici, chief of gynecologic oncology service at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute and a professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, directs MCI’s gynecologic oncology research.

The $10,000 award is presented annually to a promising scientist at the Mitchell Cancer Institute upon the recommendation of a faculty committee. The award was established in 2009 by University of South Alabama Trustee Arlene Mitchell in memory of her late husband, Mayer Mitchell, a Mobile businessman, longtime USA trustee and formative figure in the establishment of the MCI.

Since joining the MCI in 2012, Scalici has focused her collaborative research on ovarian cancer carcinogenesis and chemo-prevention as well as the active DNA damage and repair mechanisms, and metabolic changes underlying gynecologic cancers.

Supported by grant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, including a recent $450,000 award, she has led collaborations with Auburn University and the University of Virginia as she continues to examine the effectiveness of a novel compound, developed in-house at the MCI, for the prevention of ovarian cancer. Scalici also serves on numerous national committees focused on advancing the science and developing new clinical trials to advance the treatment of gynecologic cancers.

In addition, Scalici has built a clinical practice emphasizing evidence-based care and advanced surgical techniques for gynecologic malignancies. She served as site principal investigator for a clinical trial that brought fluorescent sentinel lymph node dissection in endometrial cancer to Mobile, a technique that has become integrated into the standard of care nationally.

“As a physician-scientist, Dr. Scalici fully understands the plight of women who are suffering from GYN cancers. She brings that unique understanding to the research lab, where she and her team continue to lead promising projects,” said John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “She is very deserving of this honor.”

Scalici earned her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University McGraw Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va.

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