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Mattox to retire Nov. 30; Frost promoted to interim associate dean

September 19, 2023
Tracey Barnett/ MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School

Mattox to retire Nov. 30; Frost promoted to interim associate dean

After 30 years of dedication to MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Bill Mattox, PhD, will be retiring in November.

Mattox joined the Graduate School faculty in 1993 as a faculty member affiliated with the Program in Genes and Development. He then became an associate dean of graduate education in 2012, leading the school’s office of academic affairs. In 2020, he was promoted to senior associate dean of graduate education where he continued to direct academic and faculty affairs while interfacing with MD Anderson leadership on matters important to the school, thus filling one of the gaps left by the departure of Dean Michelle Barton, PhD, in the same year.

"Dr. Mattox is an exemplary educator, mentor, and scientist," said Dean ad interim Sharon Y. R. Dent, PhD. "His long-term service to the Graduate School provides him a uniquely rich breadth and depth of knowledge. No one understands our students and our faculty as well as Bill does."

"His caring attitude is always evident, even in the most difficult of situations, added Dent. "Bill’s extensive experience also makes him the resident expert on GSBS policies and bylaws. He represents our school tirelessly on multiple committees at our parent institutions as well, to ensure that the perspective of students and faculty are taken into account in decision making."

"Such representation was especially essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very grateful for all of Dr. Mattox’s many contributions. He will be hard to replace, but we wish him every happiness as he begins his next chapter," said Dent.

Mattox received his PhD in molecular genetics from The California Institute of Technology. Following his training as a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation and American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University, he joined MD Anderson Cancer Center as an assistant professor in 1992.

In 1994, Mattox was named a Pew Scholar of Biomedical Sciences. He served as director of the Genes & Development Graduate Program from 2003—2005 and was a founding member of the MD Anderson Graduate Education Committee. He has also received many awards for his educational activities including The William Randolph Hearst Foundation Faculty Achievement Award in Education (2010), and MD Anderson Distinguished Educator (2019).

During his tenure at the school, Mattox has trained 20 MS and PhD students, nine postdocs, served on over 100 student committees, and directed three courses.

"It has been a true privilege, and a joy, to work with our students and faculty and especially the marvelous staff of the GSBS," said Mattox. "I am very thankful for the many friends and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career."

To ensure the school continues its excellence in research education management, Assistant Dean Jeffrey A. Frost, PhD, has been promoted to associate dean of academic and faculty affairs ad interim, leading the academic affairs office in addition to his current duties, effective September 1.

In April 2022, Frost joined the school administration as a co-director of the Predoctoral & Postdoctoral Training in Clinical & Translational Sciences at UTHealth Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center (CCTS- TL1). He has also helped with multiple facets of graduate education at the school, including representing the interests of faculty and students appointed at UTHealth Houston.

“I am very happy and excited to have this opportunity to work with the wonderful students, faculty and staff at GSBS," said Frost “The mission of the GSBS to train the next generation in the biomedical sciences is one that I wholeheartedly believe in, and I will do my best to live up to the lofty standards set by Bill.“

Frost joined the GSBS faculty in 2000 and is currently a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. At the Graduate School, he is affiliated with the Programs in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Genetics and Epigenetics.

He will continue to direct research in his lab, which focuses on cell signaling in breast and neuroendocrine tumors.

Please join the Graduate School in celebrating Dr. Mattox's retirement, Dr. Frost's promotion, and the ongoing progress at the school.

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