Helene Andrews-Polymenis, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Professor, Texas A&M University, Patient Advocate

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis earned an A.B. in Biology from Brown University (1989), Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/Microbiology from Tufts University (1999), and a D.V.M. from Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 2001. After completing her postdoctoral training, Dr. Andrews-Polymenis joined the faculty in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis at TAMU College of Medicine in 2005 and was promoted to professor in 2017. Her research focuses on Salmonella pathogenesis and how host genetics influences infection outcome after Salmonella and Staphylococcal infections. In addition to running her research laboratory, she teaches medical students and enjoys mentoring trainees. Dr. Andrews-Polymenis is the recipient of the Texas A&M University College of Medicine Research Award (2010), the TAMU Presidential Impact Scholar Award (2018), elected fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (2023), and was named Outstanding Alumna from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (2024).

Dr. Andrews-Polymenis was diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma in 2019; in July of the same year, her father received the same diagnosis. As both a patient and family member of a patient, Dr. Andrews-Polymenis has more experience than she ever wanted to have with diseases of the pancreas, navigating the healthcare system, and the burdens that cancer puts on patients and family members.

Dr. Andrews-Polymenis enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and working for charitable causes. Dr. Andrews-Polymenis is a patient advocate with various organizations; through these activities, she hopes to improve clinical trials, mentor patients, and make cancer care easier to navigate for patients with pancreatic cancer.