MD Anderson Cancer Center - UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

5 Graduate School faculty members awarded over $18 million from CPRIT

September 12, 2018
Tracey Barnett

Five faculty members from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences were recently awarded funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Ali Azhdarinia, Ph.D., was awarded $200,000 for a project titled Fluorescently Labeled Somatostatin Analogs for Image-Guided Surgery in Neuroendocrine Tumors. Azhdarinia is affiliated with the GSBS Program in Therapeutics and Pharmacology and is an assistant professor at the Center for Precision Biomedicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. He is also a GSBS alumnus who obtained his M.S. in 2001 and Ph.D. in 2005, both in Pharmacology. His advisor was David Yang, Ph.D.

Mark Bedford, Ph.D., was awarded $2,594,107 for a project titled Protein Array and Analysis Core (PAAC). Bedford is affiliated with the GSBS Program in Genetics and Epigenetics and is a professor in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at MD Anderson Cancer Center – Science Park.

Nicholas Navin, Ph.D., was awarded $4,897,577 for his project titled Integrated Single-Cell Genomics Core Facility. Navin is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Genetics and Epigenetics, and Quantitative Sciences. He is also an associate professor in the Departments of Genetics and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at MD Anderson.

John Tainer, Ph.D., was awarded $5,969,140 for a project, BRCA Answers from Cancer Interactome Structures (BACIS).  Tainer is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Cancer Biology. He is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at MD Anderson.

Zhongming Zhao, Ph.D., was awarded $4,429,126 for his project, UTHealth Cancer Genomics Core (UTHealth CGC). Zhao is affiliated with the GSBS Programs Genetics and Epigenetics, and Quantitative Sciences. Zhao is a professor with UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics and School of Public Health. He is also a GSBS alumnus who obtained his M.S. in 1998 in graduated in Biomathematics and his Ph.D. in 2000 in Human and Molecular Genetics. His advisor was Wen-Hsiung Li, Ph.D.

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded $2.15 billion in grants for cancer research. The agency began making awards in 2009 after Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a 2007 constitutional amendment committing $3 billion to the fight against cancer. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have brought 159 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 4.7 million life-saving education, training, prevention, and early detection services to Texans.

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