The Genes & Development Program (G&D) is a research-oriented Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS). The research in G&D labs is broadly focused on the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases. From basic science investigations to translational studies, G&D students and faculty are actively engaged in the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that could one day lead to clinical advances.

Based in the Department of Genetics and Experimental Radiation Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, G&D offers students the unique opportunity to study and conduct research at one of the premier cancer centers in the United States, located within the largest medical center in the world – the Texas Medical Center.

We aim to train students who are knowledgeable, critical, and productive independent scientists. We achieve this through cutting edge research projects, seminars, journal clubs, classes, retreat, lab collaborations, social gatherings and career development activities.

Message from the Director

Congratulations G&D Students!

 Connie Larsson (Advisor: Dr. Guillermina Lozano)
Tzu Chi Foundation Scholarship Award for Excellence, March 2016: $1000

 Marco Leung (Advisor: Dr. Nicholas Navin)
 UTHealth Thomas F. Burks Scholarship for Academic Merit, February 2015: $1000

Atanu Paul (Advisor: Dr. Bin Wang)
Received Presidents’ Research Scholarship, Dec. 2015: $5000

Sponsored by the Presidents of MD Anderson and UTHealth, this award recognizes GSBS’s very best senior PhD students and showcases their dissertation work at the Presidents’ Research Scholars Symposium on February 5, 2016.

Neeraj Aryal (Advisor: Dr. Guillermina Lozano)
Received 2015-16 Gigli Family Endowed Scholarship, Dec. 2015: $2500



Kaushik Thakkar (Advisor: Dr. Michelle Barton)
Received T.C. Hsu Memorial Scholarship, Dec. 2015: $5000

Ngoc Bui (Advisor: Dr. Elsa Flores)
Received Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship in Cancer Research, Dec. 2015: $5000



G&D Faculty in the News

Andrew Sabin Fellow: Dr. Nicholas Navin, Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, is one of eight MD Anderson recipients of a $100,000 Sabin Family Fellowship. Presented in April 2016, the award recognizes faculty who demonstrate the potential for continued superb performance in their early years of independent basic science, clinical research, physician scientist and population and quantitative science.

Stand Up To Cancer Award: Dr. Li Ma, Associate Professor of Experimental Radiation Oncology and G&D faculty member, is one of 10 researchers nationwide who received a $750,000 2016 Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Innovative Research Grant. These awards, announced April 18, 2016, support innovative, high-risk, high-reward projects in cancer research to early-career scientists.  

McGovern Outstanding Teaching Award:  Dr. Russell Broaddus, is the winner of the 2016 John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching.  Selected by a vote of the entire GSBS student body in March 2016, Dr. Broaddus, will receive his award at the GSBS Commencement on May 7. Dr. Broaddus is also Co-Director of the MD,PhD Program jointly sponsored by UTHealth and MD Anderson.    

MD Anderson Faculty Scholar Awards: G&D faculty receive three of the five 2016 MD Anderson Faculty Scholar Awards: Dr. Swathi Arur, Dr. Nicholas Navin and Dr. Xiaobing Shi. They will be recognized at the Presidents’ Recognition for Faculty Excellence Reception on February 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm in Onstead Auditorium.

New G&D Faculty Member:  Dr. Don Gibbons, Assistant Professor, Department of Thoracic and Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson, joined the Genes and Development Program faculty on February 1, 2016. 

CPRIT Awards:  Three G&D faculty received CPRIT grants totaling $2,700,000, November 2015: Dr. Swathi Arur, Dr. Giulio Draetta, and Dr. Xiaobing Shi.

Elected to AAAS:  G&D faculty member and Dean of GSBS, Dr. Michelle Barton, was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), November 2015.