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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 recent 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.

Dr. Guillermina Lozano elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies

Dr. Guillermina Lozano, chair of the Genetics Department and member of the G&D faculty, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. This is one of medicine’s highest honors. Dr. Lozano is now one of nine MD Anderson faculty members in the IOM. She was recognized for her work on the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, specifically in regards to understanding the role of p53 mutants in tumorigenesis and the roles of Mdm2 and Mdm4 as inhibitors of p53. Her fundamental discoveries of a transcriptional function for p53 and the inhibitory functions of Mdm2 and Mdm4 provided a deep understanding of the p53 pathway and opened the door for new targeted  therapies. She has developed innovative mouse models, remains the key expert of Mdm2 and Mdm4 in tumorigenesis, and serves as a role model for women and ethnic minorities in science.

G&D Welcomes Six New Faculty Members

In September and October 2014, six new faculty joined the Genes & Development Program. The most recent to join is, Dr. George Eisenhoffer Jr., in the Genetics Department. He comes to MD Anderson from the Huntsman Institute where he was a postdoctoral fellow. The other five new faculty joined G&D in September and are all in the Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson. They are:  Dr. Junjie Chen, Dr. Boyi Gan, Dr. Lei Li, Dr. Li Ma and Dr. Jae-Il Park. All of our new faculty are interested in taking PhD students.

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