Faculty Educator of the Month: October 2008

Dr. Gregory S. May

Dr. Gregory S. May, director of the Genes and Development Graduate Program, professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a faculty member at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS), has been named the October 2008 Faculty Educator of the Month.

In his role as director of the Ph.D.-level Genes and Development Graduate Program, in which students pursue training in fields such as cancer biology, genetics and developmental biology, Dr. May helps provide and sustain an educational environment in which trainees can best prepare for academic and biotechnology careers. Students can pursue their studies using many different animal models as well as human cells.

In the collaboration-oriented research environment of the Genes and Development Graduate Program, students can take advantage of several educational activities. These activities include weekly lecture series, seminars and journal clubs; a student dialog series consisting of discussions between students and members of the scientific community in Houston; an annual retreat; and semiannual round-table discussions between students and Dr. May.

In addition, Dr. May is a faculty member of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Graduate Program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, in which students receive training from faculty members at several different institutions in the Texas Medical Center. Furthermore, Dr. May has taken part in the Interdepartmental Program in Cell and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine (1987-2002).

Dr. May’s educational reach has extended to the classroom, as he has been an instructor or course coordinator for several different seminars and courses at Baylor College of Medicine and the GSBS. Furthermore, he has directly supervised 12 students, eight postgraduate trainees and seven visiting research scientists and served on advisory or supervisory committees for several other students.Over the course of his professional experience, Dr. May has participated in several courses, lectures and workshops around the world, including visiting professorships at the University of Sao Paulo and China Agricultural University in Beijing. Also, he has chaired conference and symposium sessions and been invited to participate in a long list of conferences and seminars throughout the world.

Dr. May received his Ph.D. degree in biology from Yale University in 1984. He went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ, in 1987.

Dr. May arrived in Houston in 1987 when he was named an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. He was later promoted to associate professor in 1993. In 1999, Dr. May moved on to MD Anderson as an associate professor and microbiologist and director of research in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He was later named to the faculty of the GSBS in 2000 and promoted to his current position of professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine in 2003. Additionally, he was named co-director and later director of the Genes and Development Graduate Program in 2007.

Over the past several years, Dr. May has been active in several committees at MD Anderson, including as a member of the Postdoctoral Advisory Committee since 2004 (a committee he chaired from 2007 to 2008), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Compliance Committee (2008-2010) and the Faculty Achievement Awards Basic Research Subcommittee (2003). He has also participated in numerous other committees at the local, state, national and international levels.

Dr. May’s extensive research activities are exemplified by his experience as principal or co-principal investigator or a collaborator for several funded research projects. Furthermore, he owns a patent for a method of lactoferrin and lactoferrin polypeptide production. Dr. May also has a great deal of experience reviewing grants for several agencies and study sections.

Currently, Dr. May is the associate editor for the journal Fungal Genetics and Biology, a regional editor for Biology and an editorial or executive editorial board member for five other journals. Finally, over his career as a researcher and educator, Dr. May has authored more than 65 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and eight book chapters.