Dr. Gail Eckhardt joined Baylor College of Medicine in September 2023. As the Associate Dean for Experimental Therapeutics, and Associate Director for Translational Research at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Eckhardt will lead the development of experimental therapeutics from bench to bedside. She also holds the Albert & Margaret Alkek Foundation Endowed Chair at Baylor. Prior to joining Baylor, Dr. Eckhardt was a tenured professor, inaugural director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, chair of the Department of Oncology and associate dean of cancer programs, at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School. Dr. Eckhardt has served on numerous committees and study sections, including the ASCO Molecular Oncology Task Force, the ASCO Board of Directors, the FDA Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Centers Study Section. She is a member of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee and serves on 11 external advisory boards of NCI-designated cancer centers. She was a lead mentor in ASCO's Leadership Development Program, is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) and current Chair of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas' Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. Dr. Eckhardt recently was awarded ASCO's 2022 Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award and is currently a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's National Cancer Policy Forum.
Dr. Eckhardt is the Principal Investigator on grants involving early clinical trials and colorectal cancer research, has conducted numerous early phase clinical trials and has published over 200 manuscripts. Her area of interest is in the preclinical and early clinical development of combinations of molecularly targeted compounds, with a disease focus on colorectal cancer. Dr. Eckhardt earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Stephen F. Austin State University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She conducted her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the University of California San Diego.