MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Cancer Biology Image 1The Cancer Biology Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) in Houston is dedicated to providing students with the highest quality of training in diverse areas of cancer biology research.

Given the unique environment of the Texas Medical Center, the philosophy of the Cancer Biology Program is to supplement traditional graduate school training with both depth and breadth of knowledge in cancer biology. 

Students will follow the standard format of choosing a single mentor who will guide an independent research project. However, our students frequently use the resources and expertise of several laboratories in different departments during the development of their cancer-related dissertation projects. This training provides a rich experience that increases the expertise and competitiveness of our graduates. 

Cancer Biology Image 2

Currently, we have about 70 students and 120 faculty affiliated with the program. Our students have been among the most outstanding and productive of the GSBS. They also have been the recipients of many GSBS awards, as well as nationally competitive awards and fellowships. Like the faculty, the students bring wide-ranging perspectives and goals to their research. The program excels in accommodating these interests while fostering interactions among all of our students.

The program faculty are eager to train motivated students, and will gladly provide additional information with respect to their research programs and training opportunities in their laboratories.

This is an exciting new era in cancer research. A systematic training in cancer biology should allow our students to meet the challenge of Making Cancer History.

Students affiliated with legacy programs (i.e., those that existed before the GSBS program reorganization), may click here to find information about their program requirements. 

Hu_Jian-photo-McGovern

Cancer Biology Faculty Member, Jian Hu, PhD named 2019 McGovern teaching award winner


Award Winning Students

Congratulations to Cancer Biology Student Fellowship, Scholarship and Award Recipients 

Lisa Becker (mentor: Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD)
2019-2020 Renewed Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship
2018-2019 Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship
2017-2018 Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship in Cancer Research

Li Cai (mentor: Ronald DePinho, MD)
2020 GSBS Endowment Scholarship

Vidhi Chandra (mentor: Florencia McAllister, PhD)
2019-2020 Scholarship for Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Kebbeh Darpolor (mentor: Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD)
2020-2021 Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship
2020 Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellowship
2019-2020 American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research 

Merve Dede (mentor: Traver Hart, PhD)
2020-2021 Schissler Foundation Fellowship
2019-2020 Cancer Answers/Sylvan Rodriguez Scholarship

Mary Fuentes (mentor: Pawel Mazur, PhD)
2019-2020 American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research
2018-2019 Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation Scholarship honoring George M. Stancel, Ph.D.

Carolina Garcia-Garcia (mentor: Cullen Taniguchi, MD, PhD)
2018-2019 Ellen Taylor Goldin Legacy Scholarship
2017-2018 Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation Scholarship honoring George M. Stancel, Ph.D.

Sarah Glazer (mentor: David Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD)
2017-2018 Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation Scholarship honoring George M. Stancel, Ph.D.

Shelley Herbrich (mentor: Marina Konopleva, MD, PhD)
2020 - GSBS Presidents' Research Scholarship
2018-2019 Schissler Foundation Fellowship
2018-2019 Cancer Answers/Sylvan Rodriguez Scholarship

Cheng-En Hsieh (mentor: Michael Curran, PhD)
2019-2020 Ralph B. Arlinghaus, Ph.D. Scholarship

Walaa Kattan (mentor: Dr. John Hancock, PhD)
2020-2021 Renewal - Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Professorship/Fellowship in Cancer Research
2020 Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellowship

Sunada Khadka (mentor: Florian Muller, PhD)
2020-2021 Renewal - Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
2019-2020 Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
2019-2020 R.W. Butcher Student Achievement Scholarship

Jiexi Li (mentor: Ronald DePinho, MD)
2019-2020 Meyn Scholarship for Cancer Research

Yating Li (mentor: Cassian Yee, MD)
2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz of West Houston Scholarship

Abdallah Mohamed (mentor: Clifton Fuller, MD, PhD)
2018-2019 Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship in Cancer Research

Ryan Nini (mentor: Peter Friedl, MD, PhD)
Recipient of the 2018-2019 Scholarship for Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dhwani Rupani (mentor: Andrew Rhim, MD)
2019-2020 Floyd Haar, MD Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Memory of Freda Haar

Hannah Savage (mentor: Keri Schadler, PhD)
2020-2021 Schissler Foundation Fellowship
2019-2020 Scholarship for Excellence in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Dong Ho Shin (mentor: Juan Fueyo, MD)
2020-2021 John and Rebekah Harper Fellowhip
2018 Terry and Janet Klebe Fellowship

Seula Shin (mentor: Jian Hu, PhD)
2020 - GSBS Presidents' Research Scholarship
2019-2020 Renewal - Russell and Diana Hawkins Family Foundation Discovery Fellowship
2018-2019 Russell and Diana Hawkins Family Foundation Discovery Fellowship
2017-2018 Sam Taub and Beatrice Burton Endowed Fellowship in Vision Disease 

Fatma Yasar (mentor: Jian Hu, PhD)
2019-2020 Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award in Cancer Biology
2019 Graduate Student Research Day – Elevator Speech Competition – 1st place as well as the winner of the People’s Choice Award

Er-Yen Yen (mentor: Giulio Draetta, MD, PhD)
2019-2020 Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarships in Cancer Research 

Daniel Zamler (mentor: Giulio Draetta, MD, PhD)
2019-2020 Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarships in Cancer Research

 

High Impact Student Publications


Current Students

Becker, Lisa

Endoglin Targeting in Colorectal Tumor Microenvironment.
Becker LM, LeBleu VS.
Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Dec 15;24(24):6110-6111. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-2023. Epub 2018 Aug 3.
PMID: 30076135

Hsieh, Cheng-En

Predictors of Radiation-Induced Liver Disease in Eastern and Western Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma Undergoing Proton Beam Therapy.
Hsieh CE, Venkatesulu BP, Lee CH, Hung SP, Wong PF, Aithala SP, Kim BK, Rao A, Tung-Chieh Chang J, Tsang NM, Wang CC, Lee CC, Lin CC, Tseng JH, Chou WC, Wang YC, Krishnan S, Hong JH.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 Sep 1;105(1):73-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.02.032. Epub 2019 Feb 21.
PMID: 30797890

Prognostic Value of Tumor Heterogeneity and SUVmax of Pretreatment 18F-FDG PET/CT for Salivary Gland Carcinoma With High-Risk Histology.                      
Cheng NM, Hsieh CE, Liao CT, Ng SH, Wang HM, Fang YD, Chou WC, Lin CY, Yen TC.
Clin Nucl Med. 2019 May;44(5):351-358. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000002530.
PMID: 30932974

Pretreatment Primary Tumor and Nodal SUVmax Values on 18F-FDG PET/CT Images Predict Prognosis in Patients With Salivary Gland Carcinoma.
Hsieh CE, Cheng NM, Chou WC, Venkatesulu BP, Chou YC, Liao CT, Yen TC, Lin CY.
Clin Nucl Med. 2018 Dec;43(12):869-879. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000002287.
PMID:  30273205

Pretreatment Primary Tumor SUVmax on 18F-FDG PET/CT Images Predicts Outcomes in Patients With Salivary Gland Carcinoma Treated With Definitive Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy.
Hsieh CE, Ho KC, Hsieh CH, Yen TC, Liao CT, Wang HM, Lin CY.
Clin Nucl Med. 2017 Sep;42(9):655-662. doi: 10.1097/RLU.0000000000001740.
PMID:  28650891

Hsu, Wen-Hao

let-7 Modulates Chromatin Configuration and Target Gene Repression through Regulation of the ARID3B Complex.
Liao TT, Hsu WH, Ho CH, Hwang WL, Lan HY, Lo T, Chang CC, Tai SK, Yang MH.
Cell Rep. 2016 Jan 26;14(3):520-533. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.064. Epub 2016 Jan 14.
PMID:  26776511

Connective tissue growth factor activates pluripotency genes and mesenchymal-epithelial transition in head and neck cancer cells.
Chang CC, Hsu WH, Wang CC, Chou CH, Kuo MY, Lin BR, Chen ST, Tai SK, Kuo ML, Yang MH.
Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 1;73(13):4147-57. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-4085. Epub 2013 May 16. Erratum in: Cancer Res. 2017 Jun 1;77(11):3127.
PMID:  23687336 

Jaoude, Jonathan

Oxygenated lipid signaling in tumor-associated macrophages-focus on colon cancer.
Colby JK, Jaoude J, Liu F, Shureiqi I.
Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2018 Sep;37(2-3):289-315. doi: 10.1007/s10555-018-9743-z. Review.
PMID: 29934822

Liu, Jielin

Gata4 potentiates second heart field proliferation and Hedgehog signaling for cardiac septation.
Zhou L, Liu J, Xiang M, Olson P, Guzzetta A, Zhang K, Moskowitz IP, Xie L.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 21;114(8):E1422-E1431. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605137114. Epub 2017 Feb 6.
PMID:  28167794

Shin, Dong Ho

Localized Treatment with Oncolytic Adenovirus Delta-24-RGDOX Induces Systemic Immunity against Disseminated Subcutaneous and Intracranial Melanomas.
Jiang H, Shin DH, Nguyen TT, Fueyo J, Fan X, Henry V, Carrillo CC, Yi Y, Alonso MM, Collier TL, Yuan Y, Lang FF, Gomez-Manzano C.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Nov 15;25(22):6801-6814. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-0405. Epub 2019 Aug 27.
PMID:  31455679