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Maralice Conacci-Sorrell, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Cell Biology
  • irginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research
  • Chair of Graduate School Admissions Committee
Maralice Conacci Sorrell
“Never stop learning.”

Unique Path to Medicine

Dr. Conacci-Sorrell is a scientist and educator who joined the faculty at UT Southwestern by way of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “My career was not linear. I am the first person in my family to complete middle school, high school, and college,” she said. Her international medical education reinforces her belief that women should follow their own unique path to pursuing a career in STEMM.

“Your career path is yours, do it your way and own it.”

Overcoming Challenges

“There were numerous roadblocks, but also many unique opportunities for growth,” Dr. Conacci-Sorrell said of her path to becoming a scientist.

"The most important lesson I learned was to look at successes and failures as equally important and humbling learning experiences.”

Not only had she overcome her challenges – she has flourished. Most recently, she was appointed as the first woman and underrepresented minority to chair UT Southwestern Graduate School Admissions Committee

Contributions to STEMM

Dr. Conacci-Sorrell’s lab studies mechanisms of nutrient uptake and biomass production in cancer cells. Here, she cherishes the opportunity to mentor those around her as she researches topics that have a resounding impact on the field of medicine. Along with her team, Dr. Conacci-Sorrell hopes to “define the molecular mediators of pre-metastatic behavior.”

She advises future scientists not to “get attached to hypotheses and working models and let data lead your way."

"Be confident in your ability to observe nature.”

As a mentor, she teaches her team to always “think in milestones and be confident in your abilities.”

Female Mentorship

The Celebrating Breakthroughs Together Project holds a profound meaning for Dr. Conacci-Sorrell. “Coming from a conservative and patriarchal upbringing, I spent my entire life fighting for equality for all,” she said. “I am humbled and honored to be included among such an inspiring group of female scientists.”

Dr. Conacci-Sorrell continues advocating for women as a member of the Racial Diversity and Inclusion program, which aims “to recruit and mentor women and minority students and postdocs,” she said.

“As a woman and an underrepresented minority in science, my experience formed the foundation of my mentoring philosophy to support and train the next generation of investigators.”

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