Mary K. Estes, Ph.D.

Baylor College of Medicine

Mary K. Estes, Ph.D., completed her doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, followed by postdoctoral training in Virology and Epidemiology at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, Texas. Currently, Dr. Estes holds the Cullen Endowed Chair of Molecular and Human Virology and is a Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and Medicine at BCM. She is a molecular virologist whose research is focused on understanding viral (rotavirus and norovirus) infections of the gastrointestinal tract; her lab dissects basic mechanisms that control virus replication, virus-host interactions and pathogenesis. Groundbreaking research discovered the first viral enterotoxin that is a novel calcium agonist, developed virus-like particle vaccines for both viruses and cultivated human noroviruses in human intestinal stem-cell derived organoids. A rotavirus VLP vaccine is used for prevention of calf scours and a norovirus VLP vaccine is in clinical trials. Dr. Estes has published over 400 articles and served on local, state, national and global committees devoted to research and vaccine development. Various honors recognize Dr. Estes’ work: past president of the American Society for Virology, an AGA lifetime achievement award, the AGA William Beaumont Prize in Gastroenterology and the AGA Distinguished Mentor Award. She is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.