Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., chair of Genetics, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research that was established in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
Lozano is a pioneer in describing the p53 pathway, a recognized tumor suppressor gene associated with cancer. She is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates recognized for “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
Lozano is the sixth MD Anderson scientist to be named to the NAS, joining Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology; Craig Jordan, Ph.D., professor of Breast Medical Oncology; Ronald DePinho, M.D., professor of Cancer Biology; and Nancy Jenkins, Ph.D. and Neal Copeland, Ph.D., professors of Genetics.
“This is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a scientist,” says Marshall E. Hicks, M.D., president ad interim. “Dr. Lozano’s well-deserved election speaks to her significant contributions to our understanding of p53 and her continued advances in cancer science.”
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, that play critical roles in inhibiting p53 activity.
Lozano says she is proud that this honor “recognizes what has been, and continues to be, a group effort by my team and me, and my many collaborators at MD Anderson in our shared mission to end cancer.”
She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AACR) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Her many honors include the Mattie Allen Fair Research Chair in 2004 from MD Anderson and AACR’s Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship.