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Genes and Development Ph.D. Program

Mechanistic Approaches to Understanding Cancer and Other Diseases

The Genes and Development Ph.D. Program (G&D) is for students seeking advanced training in biomedical research on the fundamental molecular mechanisms that control growth and cell differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases.

Research in our program labs covers a broad spectrum of modern biomedical interests including Genetics and Epigenetics, Cancer Biology, Stem Cells and Development, and Genomics of Cancer and Disease. Diverse experimental systems, including mice, frogs, worms, fruit flies, sea urchins, yeast, and human cells, are used by G&D faculty and graduate students to conduct their research.

Located in Houston, Texas, in the heart of the world’s largest medical center, the G&D Program provides an exceptional setting for biomedical research and graduate education. Browse through our pages and you’ll discover an outstanding program that prepares students for successful biomedical research careers in academia, industry and government and other biomedical-related professions.




Three Nature and Developmental Cell papers from G&D labs

Click here to see these papers from the labs of Dr. Swathi Arur, Dr. Elsa Flores, Dr. Nicholas Navin, and Dr. Xiaobing Shi. See the Publications page for article references.

G&D Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

In May 2015, two MD Anderson faculty joined the Genes & Development Program: Sendurai Mani, PhD and M. James You, MD,PhD. Dr. Mani is an Associate Professor in the Department of Translational Molecular Pathology and Dr. You is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hematopathology. In total, eight MD Anderson faculty joined G&D during the last year:  Dr. Junjie Chen, Dr. Boyi Gan, Dr. Lei Li, Dr. Li Ma and Dr. Jae-il Park in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology and Dr. George Eisenhoffier in the Department of Genetics.   

Dr. Nicholas Navin wins 2015 AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award; Dr. Li Ma won in 2014

G&D faculty member, Dr. Nicholas Navin, Assistant Professor, in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson, won the prestigious 2015 Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award. This award honors early-career investigators who have performed outstanding work in the field of cancer research. Winners are invited to give a public lecture and receive $25,000. Especially noteworthy is the fact that another G&D faculty member, Dr. Li Ma, Assistant Professor in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, won this prize in 2014.

Program Communications

Genes and Development Program Brochure (pdf, 8 pages, 3.1 MB)

Genes and Development Annual Newsletters

Genes and Development Student Handbook is in revision. If you have questions, please contact Elisabeth Lindheim, Program Manager, at

Student Profile

Pushan Dasgupta - Genes and Development programPushan Dasgupta
Genes and Development

"Intellectually, cancer is a fascinating disease to research because there’s not one way that it works – not one mechanism that causes cancer. It’s kind of like a kaleidoscope."

Read more about Pushan


See more GSBS Student Profiles

News Highlights

GSBS celebrates 50 years of educating scientists

Dr. Michelle Barton reflects on her first year serving jointly as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), and on the 50th anniversary of GSBS. Read more here.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center