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GENETICS & EPIGENETICS

Research in Genetic & Epigenetic labs is broadly focused on the fundamental genetic, epigenetic, and genomic mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases.

Welcome to G&E!

The Genetics & Epigenetics (G&E) Program is a research-oriented PhD and MS program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The research in G&E labs is broadly focused on the fundamental genetic, epigenetic, and genomic mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases. From basic science investigations to translational studies, G&E students and faculty are actively engaged in the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that could one day lead to clinical advances.

The Program aims to train students who are knowledgeable, critical, and productive independent scientists. We achieve this through cutting-edge research projects, classes, seminars, retreat, laboratory collaborations, social gatherings and career development activities.

G&E labs are located throughout the Texas Medical Center, including MD Anderson and UTHealth (McGovern Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Dentistry, and School of Biomedical Informatics). 

Image at right shows that, in inner mitochondria membrane, a lipophilic metabolite called ubiquinol (blue dots) is quenching lipid peroxides (which make inner mitochondria membrane “on fire”), and suppresses cell death called ferroptosis. From the lab of Boyi Gan, PhD. Mao, C., et al. Nature 2021
Genome data photograph for G&E
  • Welcome from the Directors
    Welcome to the Genetics & Epigenetics Program!

    As molecular biology and genomics have blurred the boundaries between biomedical graduate programs, our Genetics & Epigenetics (G&E) Program is distinguished by our fundamental research, all-round students, and committed faculty. We are proud of these core characteristics; they also help us to weather the uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic.

          As detailed on our website, the G&E Program tackles foundational questions in development and disease that can be grouped into five research areas: epigenetics, developmental genetics, human genetics, cancer genetics, and genome maintenance and repair. Using a diverse array of model organisms, such as fruit flies, worms, zebrafish, frogs, and mice, we are pinpointing key nodes of biology that become dysregulated in inherited or acquired abnormalities including cancer, and thus identifying potential diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to be further developed by biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

          Our Program of ~50 students is the Goldilocks size – small enough for individualized attention and large enough for vibrant academic and social interactions including retreats, symposia, and art shows. Our curriculum is designed and taught to hone skills in critical thinking, bioinformatics, and verbal and written communication. Numerous faculty-guided, student-led events help nurture organizational and leadership skills. As a result, having Genetics and Epigenetics on the diploma embodies well-balanced training.

          Our Program faculty are committed to spending their most precious commodity – time – to help students advance their intellectual and professional pursuits. A student’s success is inherently also their mentor’s, lab’s, program’s, and school’s success. This principle aligns with a fundamental motivation for any scientist to have an enduring legacy – both from their scientific discoveries and from mentoring the next generation of scholars.

          The pandemic shut down or delayed research and upended the work routine. However, despite the waves of cases, pandemic is temporary, whereas science is timeless. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. As scientists who are used to persevering and innovating, we are leveraging technology to bring people closer, as exemplified by the higher attendance of virtual thesis defenses, inclusion of international speakers in our science historical perspective series, and ease in joining virtual conferences at a lower cost and without the difficulties and expense of traveling.

          We have an invigorated commitment to improving our research community by recognizing individual needs and providing support and encouragement to ensure student wellness and success. A strong community is a foundation that empowers new perspectives and ideas to make science robust and innovative. Taken together, having Genetics and Epigenetics on the diploma embodies well-balanced training.

    Francesca Cole, PhD, Program Director
    Rachel Miller, PhD, Program Co-Director

  • G&E Research Areas

    The G&E Program is broadly focused on the fundamental genetic, epigenetic, and genomic mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases. From basic science investigations to translational studies, G&E students and faculty are actively engaged in the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that could one day lead to clinical advances. Below are the broad areas of research being performed in G&E Program labs.

    • Epigenetics
    • Developmental Genetics
    • Human Genetics
    • Cancer Genetics
    • Genome Maintenance & Repair

    Epigenetics

    Nearly every cell in our body has the exact same genome, yet that DNA blueprint is interpreted differently in specific settings to create many different cell types. How is the same genetic code read so differently to generate this cellular diversity? How do defects in reading the code lead to pathologies?  

    The answers to these questions are found in the study of epigenetics, which refers to heritable phenotypic changes that are not mediated by changes in DNA sequence but rather by alterations in genome organization.

    DNA is highly compacted within the eukaryotic nucleus in the form of chromatin, which is built from repeating units of histone-DNA particles called nucleosomes.  Nucleosome placement, density, and higher order folding all impact accessibility of DNA sequences to transcription factors and regulatory proteins, thereby affecting patterns of gene expression.

    Changes in chromatin structure control where, when and at what level genes are expressed during embryogenesis and after birth.  They also control cellular responses to environmental and physiological changes. Moreover, proper chromatin organization is crucial for maintenance of genome integrity. 

    Epigenetic abnormalities are associated with loss of cell identity, genome instability, deregulated growth, and abnormal response to signal transduction pathways, thereby contributing to disease states.  

    The G&E Program faculty are defining how epigenetic factors impact gene transcription, DNA recombination, DNA repair, and DNA replication in normal cells in order to understand how epigenetic abnormalities contribute to cancer development and progression. 

    Since epigenetic changes are often reversible, our studies provide strong molecular frameworks for the development of new therapies targeting regulators of key epigenetic events such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, or expression of non-coding RNAs.

    Developmental Genetics

    It is remarkable that a single cell, the fertilized egg, will consistently form an individual with differentiated tissues and organs, positioned correctly within the body. What are the genes that regulate these processes during embryogenesis? How do different cells and tissues interact to form functional organs and organ systems? Which genes when mutated lead to birth defects?

    These types of questions can be answered by studying developmental genetics, which focuses on genes and genetic pathways that regulate embryological, postnatal, and regenerative processes.

    In the G&E Program, numerous labs utilize genetic approaches in model organisms including Drosophila, C. elegans, Xenopus, zebrafish, and mouse, to study a variety of developmental processes.

    These processes include cell fate and differentiation, inductive interactions between tissues, tissue morphogenesis and organogenesis, and stem cell biology and regeneration. A primary strength using these model systems is that these studies are predominantly carried out in vivo.

    Interestingly, many of the genes used by the embryo during development are also deployed later in the adult organism to regulate physiological processes, including homeostasis, wound healing and regeneration. Thus, many of the G&E Program labs exploit these model systems to study genes involved in physiological processes that when altered lead to pathologies that mimic human diseases. Basic knowledge produced by developmental studies fuels translational and clinical research that one day will lead to disease therapies.

    Human Genetics

    Why do some people have an increased lifetime risk for developing cancer or chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease? Is there a genetic explanation for the repeated occurrence of these conditions among members of the same family? What are the genetic variants inherited within families that can be detected and linked to these conditions?

    The answers to these questions are found in the study of human genetics. Human genetics research has the primary goal of identifying the molecular basis of inherited disorders, elucidating the genetic and genomic basis of chronic conditions, as well as developing computational tools based on analytical methods to identify disease susceptibility loci and individuals at risk for developing disease.

    Human genetics research involves utilizing a broad set of techniques and knowledge, including the basic principles of molecular biology, mendelian genetics and the latest genomic tools, including next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics.

    G&E Program faculty are identifying mutations and genetic variants that provide a molecular explanation of inherited human diseases. Understanding the molecular basis of human genetic diseases can lead to disease prevention and the development of treatments and cures.

    Cancer Genetics

    Cancer is a genetic disease. Mutations that cause cancer alter fundamental cell behaviors, including growth, proliferation, and migration.  How do you identify genes that influence cancer formation and progression?

    One way is to use human genetics to identify cancer-causing gene mutations that are inherited. Another way is to correlate genetic lesions found in sporadically occurring tumors. A powerful approach to identify and understand cancer-causing genes is to use model organisms.

    In the G&E Program, these model organisms include the fruit fly (Drosophila), the nematode worm (C. elegans), zebrafish, and the mouse. These systems can be used for large-scale in vivo genetic screens to identify cancer-causing genes or candidate cancer-causing genes can be engineered to create models of human cancer. These powerful genetic systems have led to the identification of genetic pathways that regulate cell behaviors that when mutated lead to tumor formation and metastasis.

    Human patients and families with genetic defects contribute to our studies and help inform our thinking as we ultimately hope that this knowledge can provide cures.

    Genome Maintenance and Repair

    The genome is constantly being challenged by internal and external forces that cause DNA damage. DNA damage results from both programmed cellular processes, such as those required for meiotic crossover and antibody diversity, and spontaneous damage, such as errors in DNA replication, the cellular generation of damage-inducing chemicals, exposure to irradiation or chemicals present in the environment.

    Cells have developed many distinct ways to repair DNA damage, but not all DNA damage is properly repaired. Incorrectly repaired DNA damage can lead to genome rearrangements from point mutations to chromosome breaks or loss. Incorrectly repaired DNA can also lead to programmed cell death.

    How do cells recognize, respond to and correctly repair DNA damage? How does improper repair influence genome stability? How does failure to repair lead to programmed cell death? How do cancer cells with genome damage bypass cell death?

    Many G&E Program laboratories are uncovering how cells recognize and respond to DNA damage, with an emphasis on the genetic and epigenetic factors involved in these processes. G&E Program labs are defining the protein complexes and enzymatic activities that recognize and repair different types of DNA damage, while discovering signaling pathways induced to impose cell cycle checkpoints, to facilitate DNA repair, and to promote other cellular process such as programmed cell death. Ultimately these discoveries will lead to novel strategies for increasing the vulnerability of cancer cells to specific therapeutic strategies.

  • G&E Faculty Seeking Students

    Click the text link below to see list of G&E faculty seeking students, along with one-page research summaries of many of the faculty. See research profiles of all G&E faculty via the GSBS G&E Faculty Directory

    G&E Faculty Seeking Students

Events

Activities and Awards

  • Year-Round Activities

    G&E Program Events - Each 2nd Thursday from 12:30 - 1:30 pm (each series will rotate)

    G&E GEM Student Seminar Series. Two students present their thesis research in 20-minute talks. Everyone welcome!

    Easy Science Coffee Club. This club offers a focus on presentation skills in a fun and easy way. For students only.

    G&E Faculty Insight Series. Informal dialog (without slides) with a faculty member about their career and how they have navigated scientific and career challenges. Everyone welcome!


    2023 G&E EVENTS

    G&E Annual Retreat: October 27-28, 2023
    Camp Allen, Navasota, TX
    Keynote Speaker: John Rinn, PhD, 
    Leslie Orgel Professor of RNA Science., BioFrontiers Institute University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Biochemistry


    G&E/Quantitative Sciences Summer Social: June 7th, 5 - 7 pm
    G&E Annual Spring Career Symposium: May 10th, 9 am - 5 pm
    G&E Spring Rotation Talks: May 8th at 2:30 pm and May 9th at 10 am
    G&E Winter Rotation Talks: March 9th and 10th at 2 pm
    G&E/Neuroscience Arts Showcase: February 15th, 3 - 5 pm
    G&E Lunar New Year Event: January 23rd, 4 - 6 pm
    G&E Fall Rotation Talks: December 12th and 14th at 1 pm

    2021 and 2022 G&E EVENTS

    G&E Annual Retreat: November 4-5, 2022
    G&E Annual Spring Career Symposium: May 20th, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
    G&E Spring Rotation Talks: May 11th and 12th at 1:00 pm

    2021 - Present
    G&E Winter Rotation Talks:
    March 2nd and 3rd, at 1:30 pm
    G&E March GEM Student Seminar: Every 2nd Thursday of the Month

    Annual Events

    G&E 2021 Annual Retreat: October 22-23, 2021
    G&E 2021 Spring Career Symposium: April 23, 2021: Schedule and Information
    G&E and Neuroscience 2021 Arts Showcase: January 27, 2021More information and Exhibitor Program
    G&E 2021 Lunar New Year Event: February 25, 2021 

    2021 G&E Gem Student Seminar Series scientific and career challenges. 

    July GEM: Malcolm Moses (Richard Behringer lab): "Identifying enhancers in sex determination" and Ruoyu Wang (Wenbo Li Lab): "Mapping m6A modification on nascent RNAs"

    June GEM: Celine Kong (Jichao Chen lab): "Role of endothelial NTRK2 in respiratory virus-induced lung injury" and Jie Ye (Jianjun ZHang and Nicholas Navin labs): "The impact of subclonal diversity on clinical outcomes in localized NSCLS"

    May GEM: Ahmed Emam (Bin Wang lab): "Investigating the role of Abro1 in DNA damage-induced immune response" and Archit Ghosh (Kunal Rai lab): "Disentangling hierarchical chromatin loops in melanoma metastasis"

    April GEM: Jace Aloway (Richard Behringer lab): "ACVR1 signaling in sex determination" and Phuoc Nguyen (Wenbo Li lab): "Improving immune checkpoint therapy to breast cancer by targeting RNA binding protein"

    March GEM: Ruth Barros De Paul (John Tainer lab): "Unveiling the role of G-quadruplex DNA and G4-22 in human genetics" and Jellisa Ewan (Ambro van Hoof lab): "Investigating the uncharted functions of the Dcp2 decapping enzyme"

    February GEM: Amelie Albrecht (Xuetong Shen lab): "Actin tyrosine phosphorylation as a novel regulator of PI3K signaling" and Frederick Robinson (Giulio Draetta lab): "TP53 dependent adaptation to XPO1 inhibitor unmasks novel sequential drug combinations in colorectal cancer"

    January GEM: Safia Essien (George Eisenhoffer lab): "Assessing the role of MIF in apoptosis-induced proliferation in zebrafish

    G&E Rotation Talks

    December, March and May annually

    G&E G&E Faculty Insight Series (FIS)

    June 2022: Momoko Yoshimoto, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, IMM, McGovern Medical School
    April 2022: Blaine Bartholomew, PhD, 
    Professor, Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson
    March 2022: Margarida Santos,
    PhD,
    Assistant Professor, Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson
    January 2022: Sharon Dent, PhD,
    Professor and Chair, Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson
    October 2021: Pierre McCrea, PhD,
    Professor, Genetics, MD Anderson
    May 2021:
     Rachel Miller, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Research, UTHealth
    April 2021: Richard Wood, PhD, Professor, Epigenetics & Molecular Carcinogenesis, MD Anderson
    March 2021: George Eisenhoffer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Genetics, MD Anderson
    January 2021: Michelle Hildebrandt, P:hD, Associate Professor, Lymphoma-Myeloma, MD Anderson

    G&E Historical Perspectives in Science Lecture

    July 2021: Nathaniel Comfort, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
    February 2021: Nicole Nelson, PhD, Univ. Wisconsin-Madison

     

  • Student Award Recipients
    Congratulations G&E Student Fellowship, Scholarship and Award Recipients! (partial list, 2020-2023)

    Mary Adeyeye (Advisor, Xiangli Yang, PhD)
    Michael E. Kupferman, M.D. Fellowship. Dr. Kupferman, 2023-2024

    Vahid Bahrambeigi (Advisor, Anirban Maitra, MBBS)
    Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023
    Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2022-2023 renewal
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023
    Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2021-2022

    Bhargavi Brahmendra Barathi (Advisor, Jason Huse, MD, PhD)
    1st place Elevator Speech Competition, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year - GSBS Student Research Day 2023

    Ahmed Emam (Advisor, John Tainer, PhD)
    Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award in Cancer Biology, 2023-2024

    Shannon Erhardt (Advisor, Jun Wang, PhD)
    Jesse B. Heath, Jr. Family Legacy Award, 2023-2024
    2nd place, Oral Presentation Skills, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year - GSBS Student Research Day 2022

    Safia Essien (Advisor, George Eisenhoffer, PhD)
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2020-2021, 2021-2022
    Tzu Chi Scholar, 2020

    Melissa Frasca (Advisor, Francesca Cole, PhD)
    Linda M. Wells GSBS Outreach Award, 2023

    Maria Gacha Garay (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD)
    R.W. Butcher Student Achievement Award, 2023-2024
    Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, 2022-2023

    Archit Ghosh (Advisor, Kunal Rai, PhD)
    Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2021

    Dalia Hassan (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD)
    T.C. Hsu Memorial Scholarship, 2023-2024

    Mo-Fan Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD)
    GSEC Dean's Research Award, 2024
    Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2024
    Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2023-2024 renewal
    The Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee, Jr. Family Legacy Scholarship, 2022-2023
    Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2022-2023

    Ericka Humphrey (Advisor, Yejing Ge, PhD)
    Wei Yu Family Endowed Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Deans Excellence Scholarship - Renewal, 2022-2023

    Celine Kong (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD)
    Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023 Renewal

    Rhiannon Morrissey (Advisor, Gigi Lozano, PhD)
    NIH F31 Fellowship, 2020-2023
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2020

    Nick Newkirk (Advisor, Swathi Arur, PhD)
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2023-2024 - Renewal
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023

    Sreepradha Sridharan (Advisor, Michael Galko, PhD)
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2023-2024

    Heather Tsong (Advisor, Andrea Stavoe, PhD)
    Investing in Student Futures Fellowship, 2022-2023
    2nd place, Oral Presentation Skills, Post-Candidacy PhD - GSBS Student Research Day 2023

    Llaran Turner (Advisor, George Eisenhoffer, PhD)
    American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2023-2024
    1st place, Oral Presentation Skills, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year - GSBS Student Research Day 2023

    Mith V (Advisor, Gigi Lozano, PhD)
    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Endowment Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Dean’s Excellence Scholarship - Renewal, 2023-2024

    Brandy Walker (Advisor, Rachel Miller, PhD)
    Gigli Family Endowed Scholarship, 2023-2024

    Ruoyu Wang (Advisor, Wenbo Li, PhD)
    Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023 Renewal
    Presidents' Research Excellence Award, 2022-2023
    GSBS Presidents' Research Scholarship, 2022
    John and Rebekah Harper Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, 2022-2023 renewal
    John and Rebekah Harper Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, 2021-2022

    Hanghui Ye (Advisor, Nicholas Navin, PhD)
    Sowell-Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2023-2024 renewal
    Sowell-Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023 renewal
    Sowell-Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2021-2022

    2023 G&E Student Service Award Recipients

    Vahid Bahrambeigi
    Shannon Erhardt
    Majo Gacha Garay
    Dalia Hassan
    Ericka Humphrey
    Josh  Lindenberger
    Anna Miao
    Richa Nayak
    Nick Newkirk
    Sreeja Sridharan
    Heather Tsong
    Llaran Tuner



Communications

  • Newsletters

    GE-2023Newsletter-Thumbnail

    G&E 2023 Newsletter

    GE_newsltr_2022

    G&E 2022 Newsletter

    GE-Newsletter-2021-Cover

    G&E 2021 Newsletter

    GE-Newsletter-2020-Thumbnail.jpg

    G&E 2020 Newsletter

    GE newsletter cover image file 2019

    G&E 2019 Newsletter

    List of photos on back cover of 2021 G&E Newsletter

    LIFE OUTSIDE OF LAB

    First Row (left to right)
    Momoko Yoshimoto, MD, PhD: Walking the Old faithful trail at Yellowstone National Park (Grotto Geyser)
    Bill Mattox, PhD: On the Sonoma County Coast, north of San Francisco
    Anna Miao: Crab lining in Galveston! We got up around 4AM, drove to Galveston and took ferry to fishing port. With a chicken leg and a net, we caught around 20 crabs ?!
    Richard Wood, PhD: Hiking in New Mexico with Geoff Stradling, 2021

    Second Row (left to right)
    Dalia Hassan: This is my cat, Biso!
    Jace Aloway: My wife and I took our dog, Sasha, on a backpacking trip up Mt. Harvard of the Rocky Mountains. We spent a few days exploring the nearby towns before hitting the trail where we spent three days enjoying the beautiful sights
    Swathi Arur, PhD: Start of the hike from Lake Louise to the Tea House (which lies beyond the mountains visible in the backdrop) at Banff
    Peaches (cat on the left) and Luna (cat on the right): Sreeja recently fostered kittens without a mother. She and her husband decided to keep Peaches, who is currently 4 months old! Keeping Peaches out of trouble is a full-time occupation. Their other cat, Luna, is not very impressed with Peaches.

    Third Row (left to right)
    Archibald: Han Bit Baek’s precious fur baby!
    Celine Kong: Garba dance with friends!
    Richard Wood, PhD:Reserva Los Huemules, Patagonia, 2019
    Melissa Frasca: With lab friends at Wildseed Farms to see wildflowers.

    Fourth Row (left to right + ½ line down)
    Rachel Dittmar:Family portrait with Evan and Hattie Dittmar
    Sasha: I belong to Jace Aloway and his wife!
    Francesca Cole, PhD: Lemon Meringue with her daughter, Rowan
    Leia:I belong to Melissa Frasca!
    Sreeja Sridharan: At her wedding with husband, Jacob Rutherford
    Michelle Hildebrandt, PhD: “Our foal was born! ‘Stich’ will be my daughter's next show horse”

    Fifth Row (left to right)
    Mango: Dr. Junwoo Lee and his wife adopted their dog, Mango. He sometimes breaks Junwoo’s action figures. Most recently, Mango broke Jedai Obiwan.
    Celine Kong: Ugly Sweaters Christmas Celebration with friends!
    Fernando Benavides, PhD: “I've been playing guitar almost all my life. This is a tribute band I am with now in Austin”
    Rosie: I belong to Dr. Francesca Cole and family!

  • Social Media
  • G&E News Updates

    Latest G&E Students to Win GSBS Fellowships and Scholarships! 

    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD): GSEC Dean's Research Award, 2024
    Ericka Humphrey (Advisor, Yejing Ge, PhD):
    2023-2024 UTHealthLeads MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate Student School Fellows
    Heather Tsong (Advisor, Andrea Stavoe, PhD):
    2023-2024 UTHealthLeads MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate Student School Fellows
    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD): Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2024
    Mith V (Advisor, Gigi Lozano, PhD): Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Endowment Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Mary Adeyeye (Advisor, Xiangli Yang, PhD): Michael E. Kupferman, M.D. Fellowship. Dr. Kupferman, 2023-2024
    Shannon Erhardt (Advisor, Jun Wang, PhD): Jesse B. Heath, Jr. Family Legacy Award, 2023-2024
    Brandy Walker (Advisor, Rachel Miller, PhD): Gigli Family Endowed Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Dalia Hassan (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD:) T.C. Hsu Memorial Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Ahmed Emam (Advisor, John Tainer, PhD): Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award in Cancer Biology, 2023-2024
    Majo Gacha Garay (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD): R.W. Butcher Student Achievement Award, 2023-2024
    Ericka Humphrey (Advisor, Yejing Ge, PhD): Wei Yu Family Endowed Scholarship, 2023-2024
    Heather Tsong (Advisor, Andrea Stavoe, PhD): 1st Place Platform Talk - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Han Bit Baek (Advisor, Swathi Arur, PhD): 2nd Place Platform Talk - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Llaran Turner (Advisor, George Eisenhoffer, PhD): People’s Choice Platform Talk - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Samantha Mota (Advisor, Michael Galko, PhD): 1st Place Pre-Candidacy Poster (tie) - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Sseu-Pei Hwang (Advisor, Catherine Denicourt, PhD): 1st Place Pre-Candidacy Poster (tie) - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Anna Miao (Advisor, Don Gibbons, PhD): 1st Place Pre-Candidacy Poster (tie) - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD): 1st Place Post-Candidacy Poster - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Majo Gacha Garay (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD): 2nd Place Post-Candidacy Poster - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Guillaume Trusz (Advisor, Michael Curran, PhD): 1st Place Pre-Candidacy Poster Flash Talk - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Jace Aloway (Advisor, Richard Behringer, PhD): 1st Place Post-Candidacy Poster Flash Talk - 2023 G&E Retreat
    Melissa Frasca (Advisor, Francesca Cole, PhD): Linda M. Wells GSBS Outreach Award, 2023
    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD): Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2023-2024 renewal
    Hanghui Ye (Advisor, Nick Navin, PhD): Andrew Sowell - Wade Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2023-2024 renewal
    Llaran Turner (Advisor, George Eisenhoffer, PhD): 2023-2024 American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research
    Vahid Bahrambeigi (Advisor, Anirban Maitra, MBBS): Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023
    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee, PhD): The Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee, Jr. Family Legacy Scholarship, 2022-2023
    Celine Kong (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD): Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023 Renewal
    Heather Tsong (Advisor, Andrea Stavoe, PhD): Investing in Student Futures Fellowship, 2022-2023
    Ruoyu Wang (Advisor, Wenbo Li, PhD): Dr. John J. Kopchick Fellow, 2023 Renewal
    Ruoyu Wang (Advisor, Wenbo Li, PhD): 2022-2023 Presidents' Research Excellence Award 
    Ruoyu Wang (Advisor, Wenbo Li, PhD)2022 GSBS Presidents' Research Scholarship
    Ericka Humphrey (Advisor, Yejing Ge, PhD):2022-2023 Deans Excellence Scholarship - Renewal
    Hanghui Ye (Advisor, Nicholas Navin, PhD): Sowell-Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023 renewal
    Ruoyu Wang (Advisor, Wenbo Li, PhD): John and Rebekah Harper Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, 2022-2023 renewal
    Vahid Bahrambeigi (Advisor, Anirban Maitra, MBBS): Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2022-2023 renewal
    Vahid Bahrambeigi (Advisor, Anirban Maitra, MBBS): American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023
    Maria Gacha Garay (Advisor, Jichao Chen, PhD): Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences, 2022-2023
    Nick Newkirk (Advisor, Swathi Arur, PhD): American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research, 2022-2023
    Mo-Fan (Elena) Huang (Advisor, Dung-Fang Lee): Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, 2022-2023

    See list of G&E student award recipients in 'Awards' section.

    G&E GSBS Student Research Day 2023 Award Winners:

    Llaran Turner (Advisor, George Esienhoffer, PhD):  1st place, Oral Presentation Skills, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year
    Bhargavi Brahmendra Barathi (Advisor, Jason Huse, MD, PhD): 1st place Elevator Speech Competition, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year 
    Heather Tsong (Advisor, Andrea Stavoe, PhD): 2nd place, Oral Presentation Skills, Post-Candidacy PhD 

    G&E GSBS Student Research Day 2022 Award Winners:

    Shannon Erhardt (Advisor, Jun Wang, PhD): 2nd place, Oral Presentation Skills, Pre-Candidacy PhD, MS & SMS, 1st Year
    Raisa Reyes Castro (Advisor, Swathi Arur, PhD): 1st place, Poster Competitions, Post-Candidacy PhD

    Boyi Gan Receives 2021 MD Anderson Faculty Achievement Award in Basic Research (August 2021)

    Boyi Gan, PhD, G&E faculty member and Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson is the recipient of the  MD Anderson Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Faculty Achievement Award in Basic Research. His award will be presented at the Faculty Honors Convocation later this year.

    David Johnson, PhD Receives 2021 Oldham Faculty Award (August 2021)

    David Johnson, PhD, G&E faculty member and Professor, Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at MD Anderson is the recipient of the 2021 D. Dudley and Judy White Oldham Faculty Award. As noted in the GSBS Essential: "The purpose of the award is to recognize an exceptional faculty member who consistently demonstrates excellence in service and leadership at the school". 

    G&E Director Wins McGovern Teaching Award (July 2021)

    Dr. Jichao Chen, G&E Director and Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine-Research at MD Anderson wins 2021 McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching. This award recognizes excellence in teaching based on the educator’s knowledge of the subject, interest in/enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and understanding of students, responsiveness to student questions and encouragement of independent thinking, and accessibility to students. Each year, GSBS students nominate and vote for the winner. 

    G&E Library

    G&E offers a lending library located in Amy Carter’s office at GSBS. More than 40 books will be available for check-out. From biology textbooks, scientific resources and biographies, to R programming, writing guides, and personal productivity, you'll find a huge breadth of topics of interest to our graduate program community. See book list here.  

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Contact Us

Francesca Cole, PhD
G&E Program Director
Associate Professor, Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Office: South Campus Research Building, 3SCRB4.4109
Email: [email protected] | Tel: 832-750-7185

Rachel Miller, PhD
G&E Program Co-Director
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School
Office: MSE R414
Email: [email protected] | Tel: 713-500-6537

Amy Carter
G&E Program Manager
GSBS Office - BSRB S3.8332a
Telephone: 713.745.0659
email: [email protected]