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Biochemistry and Cell Biology

The Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) Graduate Program is a rigorous, interdisciplinary program that focuses on understanding fundamental biological, biochemical and molecular underpinnings of normal cellular and organ function, and how these mechanisms affect normal and abnormal (disease) biological function.

The Biochemistry and Cell Biology Program

Doctorate and Masters students have the opportunity to work in any one of more than 100 faculty labs across The MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School, and the program welcomes students whose interests overlap with the program even if their mentor is not a program faculty. Faculty interests are a microcosm of those in GSBS and represent a broad array of disciplines including biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology, animal physiology, cell biology, cancer biology, neurobiology, biophysics, and computational biology and molecular modeling applied to numerous disease states and model organisms as well as translational research in humans.

Our diverse group of current students loves the student-focused, interactive faculty and community feel of the program that incorporates rigorous coursework, multidisciplinary laboratory training, and development of practical skills such as grant writing and presentation skills. BCB students are highly competitive for national and local fellowships and awards, as reflected by their outstanding publication records. BCB students also enjoy leadership opportunities including hosting external seminars by local and national researchers, research workshops, and student-run social activities. Our dedicated faculty provide an exceptional training and mentoring environment that propels BCB students to innovation in research and effectively prepares them for their next career step.

2022 BCB Lab Booklet

BCB Lab Booklet Image


Harry Karmouty-Quintana, PhD

Karmouty-Quintana, PhD, named director of Pulmonary Center of Excellence

Graduate School faculty member Harry Karmouty-Quintana, PhD, has been appointed director of the Pulmonary Center of Excellence at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. Karmouty...
January 19, 2023
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Vasanthi Jayaraman, PhD

Jayaraman receives grant to study glutamate receptors involved in memory, other neurological processes

A five-year, nearly $3.5 million grant to study the mechanisms of brain receptors involved in neurological disorders such as learning disabilities has been awarded to Vasanthi Jayaraman, PhD, by the National...
December 26, 2022
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Targeting a specific enzyme could alleviate muscle wasting for cancer patients

Targeting a specific enzyme could alleviate muscle wasting for cancer patients

Targeting a specific enzyme in the muscle could help cancer patients preserve muscle mass and potentially prolong their survival, according to research from UTHealth Houston.
October 18, 2022
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GSBS student José S. Enriquez Ortiz participates in the Yale Ciencia Academy, learns about professional development and diversity in the science field

GSBS student José S. Enriquez Ortiz participates in the Yale Ciencia Academy, learns about professional development and diversity in the science field

After being accepted into the prestigious Yale Ciencia Academy program, José S. Enriquez Ortiz traveled to Yale University for a week filled with exercises, discussions, and networking...
September 21, 2022
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Photo of John F. Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD,(left) and  Carmen Dessauer, PhD (right)

Hancock, Dessauer accept leadership roles at McGovern Medical School

Graduate School faculty member John F. Hancock, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, ScD, will be the new executive dean and H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences at McGovern Medical School...
July 29, 2022
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Biochemistry and Cell Biology Student Council and Awards

  • Contact BCB Student Council

    Contact BCB 2021-2022 Student Council

    BCB Student Council
    Jose Enriquez-Ortiz, President
    Ulises Gonzalez, Vice President
    Joan Jacob, Vice President

  • Student Awards and Fellowships

    2021- 2022 Student Awards and Fellowships

    NIH NIGMS F31 Predoctoral Fellowship
    Savannah West: Dr. Mentor Askar Akimzhanov

    GSBS Endowment Scholarship
    Janani Subramaniam: Mentor Dr. Shane Cunha

    The Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee, Jr. Family Legacy Scholarship
    Ulises Gonzalez: Mentor Dr.Vasanthi Jayaraman

    Floyd Haar, MD Endowed Memorial Scholarship
    Joan Jacob: Mentor: Dr. Kendra Carmon

    Gigli Family Endowed Scholarship
    Marvin Wirianto: Mentor Dr. Seung-Hee Yoo

    2021 BCB Directors Award 
    Tristen Tellman: Mentor Dr. Mary Farach-Carson

    Marilyn and Frederick R. Lummis, Jr., M.D., Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
    Anita Kaw: Mentor Dianna Milewicz

    Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
    Tristen Tellman: Mentor Dr. Mary Farach-Carson

    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research
    Jessica Symons: Mentors Dr. Ilya Levental and Vasanthi Jayaraman

    GSBS Endowment Scholarship
    Nancy Wareing: Mentor Dr. Harry Karmouty-Quintana

    GSBS Endowment Scholarship
    Ryan Durham: Mentor Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman

    2021 BCB Symposium Presentation Awards

    Oral presentation: post-candidacy
    Dominik Awad (1st)
    Ashabari Mukherjee (2nd)
    Tristen Tellman (3rd)

    Oral presentation: pre-candidacy
    Joan Jacob (1st)
    Jose Enriquez and Janani Subramaniam (tie for 2nd)

    People’s Choice Poster Award
    Nancy Wareing

    2021 Medical School Research Retreat Poster Winners

    Joan Jacob: Mentor Dr. Kendra Carmon
    Jessie Morrill: Mentors Dr. Qingchun Tong
    Vinay Nair: Mentor Dr. Alemayehu Gorfe
    Rachel Van Drunen: Mentor Dr. Kristin Eckel Mahan

    2021 GSBS Kopchick Fellowships

    Nathaniel Berg: Mentor Dr. Holger Eltzschig
    Elia Lopez: Mentors Dr. Terry Walters and Carmen Dessauer
    Nabina Paudyal: Mentor Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman

    2020-2021 GSBS Scholarships/Fellowships

    R.W. Butcher Achievement Award
    Vinay Nair: Mentor Dr. Alex Gorfe

    George M. Stancel, Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
    Savannah West: Mentos Drs. Askar Akimzhanov and Darren Boehning

    Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship in Cancer Research
    Mikayla Waters: Mentor Dr. Melinda Yates

BCB Social Media

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Contact Us

Dr. Harry Karmouty-Quintana
Program Director

Dr. Kristin Eckel-Mahan
Program Co-Director

Amanda Williamson
Program Manager