Dr. Guillermina Lozano
Exploring uncharted scientific territory and the possibility of discovery provide inspiration for Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Genetics.
“It's quite a thrill to discover something no one else in the whole wide world knows and to write about that discovery and tell people about it,” she says. “And it’s even more exciting when your discovery helps people with cancer.”
Lozano, better known by her nickname Gigi, is an internationally recognized scientist and leader in understanding the regulation of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway. “My studies have shown how tumor cells try to get rid of p53 by expressing a potent p53 inhibitor,” she says. “We also have been studying the types of p53 mutations that occur in humans and trying to understand why some mutations are more harmful than others.”
Since 1988, Lozano has directed a very productive and independent research program with continuous funding from the National Cancer Institute. In addition, she has published over 134 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science and Cell. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University and completed post-graduate work at Princeton University.
“I’m really proud my work has been able to contribute to our understanding of how p53 works and why it doesn’t work in suppressing human tumor growth,” she says. “I think it is an important piece of the cancer puzzle.”
Besides being known worldwide for her research, Lozano has an impressive record in education and training. Over thirty graduate students have received Ph.D. or M.S. degrees under her direction. Currently, four graduate students and four post doctoral trainees are training in her laboratory. In her career, she has trained many postdoctoral and M.D. fellows.
“Training the next generation of medical leaders is essential to the progress of research in cancer,” she says.