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Dent, Raymond elected to NAS

May 09, 2024
Tracey Barnett /MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School

Dent, Raymond elected to NAS

MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School is proud to recognize faculty member Sharon YR Dent, PhD, and alumna Jennifer L. Raymond, PhD ‘93, for being elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Dent and Raymond are among over 140 members being recognized this year for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Dent is a professor in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at MD Anderson. Her work focuses on understanding the role of chromatin and chromatin-modifying proteins in regulating gene expression, genome integrity, and other essential cellular processes.

Dent joined the Graduate School’s faculty in 1993 and she is affiliated with the Program in Genetics and Epigenetics. She served as president of the school’s faculty in 2006-2007 and has served on several major standing committees.

She also served as dean ad interim from June 2022 through December 2023.

“This is an enormous honor,” Dent said. “It highlights the impact of the discoveries made by all of the hard-working and brilliant members of my lab over the past 31 years, including 20 GSBS students and 23 postdoctoral fellows.  I am truly grateful for this distinction.”

Dent has won several awards including the 2009 Paul E. Darlington Mentor Award for GSBS Faculty, the 2015 President’s Leadership Award (MD Anderson), and the 2021 John Mendelsohn Award (MD Anderson).

She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

Jennifer L. Raymond, PhD, is the Berthold and Belle N. Guggenhime Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University, and professor of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

She graduated with a PhD in neuroscience in 1993. Her advisor was John Byrne, PhD.

In her lab, Raymond and her team study neural mechanisms of learning. Their aim is to develop an understanding of the algorithms the brain uses to tune its own performance through experience. Her research is noted for its integrative approach, and this is something she attributes to her graduate training at the GSBS.

 “In Jack Bryne’s lab, I was embedded in a team of scientists approaching the question of how a circuit implements learning from every angle and working together to establish the functional links between events occurring at the molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels,” said Raymond. “I have carried this approach with me throughout my scientific career, and found it to be a powerful discovery tool. Most recently, our efforts to connect observations at the synaptic and circuit levels yielded the discovery of a new property of synapses that provides a candidate mechanism of meta-learning."

 

Raymond has won several awards including the 2016 Stanford University School of Medicine Graduate Teaching Award, 2019 Albert and Ellen Grass Lecturer, and 2022 Forbes Lecturer, Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole.

She is currently a member of the review panel for Simons Foundation Neuroscience Collaborations. In the past, she has served on several committees including the National Institute for Mental Health Board of Scientific Councilors (2022), and was president (2019-2022) and treasurer (2016-2022) of the Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society.

Established in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, NAS is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research with 3,154 active national and international members.

Click here to learn more about the NAS.

 

 

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