Elizabeth Shpall, M.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Professor & Chair ad interim, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Howard and Lee Smith Chair in Cancer Research

Elizabeth Shpall, MD, is a nationally recognized expert in stem cell transplantation. She currently is the Director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory and Director of the Cord Blood Bank at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She also serves as Professor and Chair ad interim of the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and holds the Howard and Lee Smith Chair in Cancer Research. Dr. Shpall’s research covers a range of applications, among them: leukemia, lymphoma treatment, anti-tumor immunity enhancement and tissue repair. Many of her studies address the safety and efficacy of stem cell transplantation for patients.

Dr. Shpall has provided unparalleled leadership in the area of umbilical cord blood collection, banking and transplantation. Under her watch, the Cord Blood Bank at MD Anderson has collected over 140,000 cord blood units from voluntary donations since its establishment in April 2005, coordinating these efforts with several hospitals in Houston. The Stem Cell Transplant Program has transplanted more than 2,800 patients with cord blood using novel strategies such as ex vivo expansion of the cord blood cells before infusion, to make it work better in patients.

Dr. Shpall’s influence is felt beyond the Texas Medical Center. She was the founding president and current Board member of the Foundation Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) established in an organization that accredits stem cell transplantation programs and ensures quality management plans and standard operating procedures. She is a past president of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).

Dr. Shpall’s academic career started with an undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1976. She completed her medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1980 before becoming a resident at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York for three years. From 1983 through 1985, she was a fellow in the Department of Neoplastic Diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, serving as chief fellow in her final year.

Before coming to MD Anderson in 2002, she was an associate professor and director of the Cord Blood Bank at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, a program she started. From 1986 to 1990, she was an assistant professor at the Duke University Medical Center.

She has authored or co-authored nearly 500 research articles, abstracts, editorials and book chapters during her career in addition to speaking throughout the world at conferences and symposia. She holds two patents resulting from her research efforts. 

Dr. Shpall has been honored with numerous awards for her academic and research work at MD Anderson. These include the R. Lee Clark prize for Excellence-Clinical Faculty, the President’s Recognition for Faculty Excellence Award and the Otis W. and Pearl L. Walters Faculty Achievement Award in Clinical Research.

Dr. Shpall’s academic career started with an undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1976. She completed her medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1980 before becoming a resident at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York for three years. From 1983 through 1985, she was a fellow in the Department of Neoplastic Diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, serving as chief fellow in her final year.

Before coming to MD Anderson in 2002, she was an associate professor and director of the Cord Blood Bank at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, a program she started. From 1986 to 1990, she was an assistant professor at the Duke University Medical Center. 

She has authored or co-authored over 500 research articles, abstracts, editorials and book chapters during her career in addition to speaking throughout the world at conferences and symposia. She holds two patents resulting from her research efforts. 

Dr. Shpall has been honored with numerous awards for her academic and research work at MD Anderson. These include the R. Lee Clark prize for Excellence-Clinical Faculty, the President’s Recognition for Faculty Excellence Award and the Otis W. and Pearl L. Walters Faculty Achievement Award in Clinical Research.