Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix is Shepherd University’s 16th president and is the first graduate to lead the school in its history. Hendrix graduated from Shepherd in 1974. She went on to earn a doctorate and become a leading scientist in cancer research, with a focus on identifying genes that contribute to cancer metastasis with a goal of discovering new therapeutic strategies. Hendrix holds seven patents in the field.
Hendrix is currently on the Board of Directors at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, based in California; she chairs the National Disease Research Interchange board, which is funded in part by NIH and is based in Philadelphia; and she serves on the Board of Directors for Research!America, based in Washington, D.C., a not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make health research a higher national priority.
Before coming to Shepherd, Hendrix was president and chief scientific officer of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine (2004-2016). Prior to that, she held various positions at the University of Iowa (1996-2004), Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center (1994-1996), the University of Arizona (1980-1993), and the University of California, San Francisco (1981-1985).
Hendrix has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the National Human Genome Research Institute Council, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. She has testified before Congress numerous times in hearings about the budgets of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation, and about human embryonic stem cell research.
From 1985-1994, Hendrix served as a commissioner on the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission (formerly the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission), an arm of the Arizona Department of Health Services that provides grants for research and education in the state.
Hendrix has written more than 250 publications on biomedical research and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute, the 2004 Australian Society for Medical Research Lecturer and Medal Recipient for research and advocacy, the 2006 Henry Gray Award by the American Association of Anatomists that recognizes unique and meritorious contributions to the field of anatomical science, the 2008 and 2012 Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Lecturer Award in Japan, the 2012 Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship from the American Association for Cancer Research, the 2014 Vision and Impact Award from the Regional American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, a University of Iowa Award for Excellence and Achievement Among Women, and the Distinguished Woman Faculty Award from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Hendrix earned her Ph.D. from George Washington University in anatomy/cell biology and her B.S. from Shepherd in pre-med/biology. From 1977-1980, she was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School in the department of anatomy and cell biology. In 1996, Shepherd presented her with the Doctor of Science honorary degree.
Hendrix has been involved with the Shepherd University Foundation, establishing two named memorial and honorary endowments, the Capt. Charles N.G. and Jessie S. Hendrix Memorial Scholarship, and the Jessie and Mary J. Hendrix Scholarship. Hendrix’s mother, longtime Shepherd employee Jessie Hendrix, created the Hendrix Tennis Scholarship.