Dr. Sakina Elzebair Eltom is a Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College and a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research.
Her education includes a doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, a Master’s of Sciences and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. She received her training in Cancer research as a postdoctoral fellow at the McArdle laboratory for Cancer Research in Madison Wisconsin, investigating the molecular mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis. She followed that with a short venture working for an IPO Biotechnology Company in Upstate NY (Paracelsian, Inc.) for two years. She then returned to academia and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Environmental Toxicology Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying how chemical exposure can cause cancer.
Dr. Eltom was appointed as an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Wisconsin-Medical School, at Madison, WI where she started her independent research career on the role of environmental chemicals in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Dr. Eltom then joined Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN as an Assistant Professor and she rose in the rank where she is currently a Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at Meharry Medical College and a jointly Adjunct
Professor of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.
Over the last two decades, she served as an expert consultant on several scientific peer review panels, advising agencies on the quality of research grant applications to be funded. In that capacity, she served the National Institute of Health of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Medical Command of the Department of Defense and Philip Morris External Research Program, as well as for Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) of Qatar Foundation.
Dr. Eltom has published many scientific publications on her seminal work in the area of breast cancer and carcinogens metabolism. She has served and currently serves on many national and international advisory committees on higher education, training and research, setting the priorities and national agenda for research and graduate education.
In addition to training many undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, she mentored many PhD students; many of them are leading successful careers as professors in academia and experts and cancer researchers at FDA and NIH. Her laboratory is still leading active research on the role of environmental chemical’s exposure in the pathogenesis of breast cancer and other diseases in premenopausal African and African American women.