Beth Helmink, MD, PhD

Beth Helmink, MD, PhD, is currently an assistant professor in surgical oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. She specializes in the surgical management of melanoma and other skin cancers, sarcoma, and metastatic peritoneal malignancies. Her research interests lie in the intersection of autoimmunity and anti-tumor immunity.

Originally from rural Illinois, she earned her undergraduate degrees in biochemistry/molecular biology and chemistry at Illinois State University. She began her clinical and research training at WUSM as an MSTP student in 2004, studying DNA damage responses in developing lymphocytes with Dr. Barry Sleckman. Following graduation in 2012, she completed residency training in general surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and subsequently complex general surgical oncology fellowship training at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. While at MDACC, she performed research with Dr. Jennifer Wargo, studying the role of the microbiota in affecting the response to and toxicity of immune checkpoint inhibitors; moreover, she was part of an international group of researchers who demonstrated a novel role for B cells in the response to metastatic melanoma. She returned to St. Louis in September 2020 to join the Washington University faculty.

Outside of work, she enjoys reading books, hanging out with her family and dog, and hiking.