MD Anderson genetics expert Guillermina Lozano elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., chair of Genetics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Lozano is a pioneer in describing the p53 pathway, a recognized tumor suppressor gene associated with cancer.

Today, the Academy announced its newest members with the election of 276 artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. The 240-year-old academy was established to cultivate the arts and sciences and to gather scholars, professionals, government officials and business leaders to work together in the national interest. Only current members may nominate others to join the academy.

“Guillermina's pioneering work in genetics has paved the way for innovative research at MD Anderson and at cancer centers around the world,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We are proud to count her among our most distinguished faculty, and we are excited to see her recognized by our peers for her transformative work in outlining the p53 pathway.”

Lozano was the first to establish p53 as a transcriptional activator of other genes. Transcription is the first step in a gene’s expression of its protein. She also showed that common p53 mutants fail to launch transcription, and discovered other proteins, Mdm2 and Mdm4, which play critical roles in inhibiting p53 activity in development and cancer.

Lozano received her Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in biology and mathematics from The University of Texas Pan American and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. After a short postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, she joined MD Anderson in 1987 where she has remained, rising in rank to professor and chair in Genetics.

Lozano is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. Her many honors include the Hubert L. Olive Stringer Distinguished Chair in Oncology in Honor of Sue Gribble Stringer in 2018 from MD Anderson, and AACR’s Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship. In April 2018, she was awarded the President’s Leadership Award for Advancing Women and Minority Faculty at MD Anderson.  She is also the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both her undergraduate and graduate alma maters.