The Genetics department is a basic science department located in the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building at the world-renowned University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. The focus is on advancing knowledge of the molecular genetic mechanisms that regulate normal and abnormal cellular processes.
Areas of genetics research emphasis within the department include the identification of disease loci, the use of genetic systems to identify critical steps in development, differentiation, cell proliferation, cell death, DNA repair and chromosome maintenance and segregation. These are important processes for cell and tissue maintenance that are often altered in cancer cells. The knowledge gained in our pursuit of basic mechanisms of cellular processes is shared with our clinical colleagues as we strive toward Making Cancer History.
The department consists of of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, instructors, non-tenure track faculty, professional research staff and administrative staff. We have a strong commitment to graduate and postgraduate education and training.
Faculty members are primarily affiliated with the Genetics & Epigenetics (G&E) Graduate Program , the Quantitative Sciences (QS) Graduate Program and the Cancer Biology (CB) Graduate Program within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Training is enhanced by the John H. Blaffer Lecture Series and a weekly departmental seminar series called the Research Exchange Series.
Welcome to the Department of Genetics!
Genetics Annual Retreat
From all of our faculty, staff and trainees, a warm welcome.
In one of the country’s most multi-cultural cities, we strive to reflect the diversity of Houston in our trainees, staff and faculty, irrespective of race, color, age, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, or ethnicity.
In the Department of Genetics, we collectively endorse diversity and equity, and are committed to promoting inclusivity in a welcoming environment that values excellence in research, training and mentorship -- free of structural racism and unconscious bias. Through continuous self-reflection, we strive for a culture of inclusivity by our words and actions with compassion and empathy towards all. We value and respect individuality, unique talents and different perspectives, to create an environment that cultivates new ideas, creates collaboration and enhances knowledge through respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork and outreach.
We embrace and cherish our diversity to make cancer history!
For comments or concerns about these issues, please contact the chair of our Department's Welcome (Diversity & Inclusion) Committee (Richard Behringer, email@example.com).
Trainee Award Highlights
Ben F. Love Fellowship in Innovative Cancer Therapies
Debabrata Das, Ph.D. (Arur Lab) 2021
CPRIT (Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas) Program’s TRIUMPH (Translational Research in Multi-Disciplinary Program) Fellowship Award
Yuehui Zhao, Ph.D. (Navin Lab) 2020
Damon Runyon Quantitative Biology Fellowship Award
Runmin Wei, Ph.D. (Navin Lab) 2020-2024
Jesse H. Jones Fellowship in Cancer Education
Kaile Wang, Ph.D. (Navin Lab) 2021
Debabrata Das, Ph.D., (Arur Lab) 2020-2022
Yuehui Zhao, Ph.D. (Navin Lab) 2021-2022
Youma Atieh, Ph.D. (Eisenhoffer Lab) 2018-2021
Yun Zhang, Ph.D. (Lozano Lab) 2010-2013
Rachel Miller, Ph.D. (McCrea Lab) 2008-2012
James Jackson, Ph.D. (Lozano Lab) 2007-2009
Naomi Iwai, Ph.D. (Behringer Lab) 2006-2008
Alison Stewart, Ph.D. (Behringer Lab) 2005-2008
Fel Gao, Ph.D. (Huff Lab) 2005-2007
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32, NCI)
Brant Gracia, Ph.D. (Karras Lab) 2021-2024
Joy McDaniel, Ph.D. (Lozano Lab) 2019-2022
Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award
Yuehui Zhao, Ph.D. (Navin Lab) 2021
Alfred G. Knudson Jr. Outstanding Dissertation Award
Charissa Kim (Navin Lab) 2018
CPRIT Graduate Scholar Program
Naveen Ramesh (Navin Lab) 2018-2021
Erin Atkinson (Wang Lab) 2015-2019
Marco L. Leung (Navin Lab) 2014-2016
Mehrnoosh Tashakori, (Lozano Lab) 2011-2015
Moonsup Lee (McCrea Lab) 2011-2013
Le Huang (Huff Lab) 2011-2013
William Munoz (McCrea Lab) 2010-2012
Qin Li (Lozano Lab) 2010-2011
Dr. John J. Kopchik Fellowship
Jovanka Gencel Augusto (Lozano Lab) 2021-2022
Yiyun Lin (Navin Lab) 2021-2022
Sydney Moyer (Lozano Lab) 2018-2020
Howards Hughes Medical Institute’s Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study
Jacob Ortega (Arur Lab) 2020 - 2023
Larry Deaven Ph.D. Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences
Yun Yan (Navin Lab) 2022-2023
Marilyn and Fredrick R. Lummis, Jr., MD, Fellowship in the Biomedical Sciences
Heather Turner (Galko Lab) 2015-2016
Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease (MBID) T32 Fellowship
Anh Kim Trinh Nguyen (Eisenhoffer Lab) 2019-2020
NCI Training Program in Translational Genomics and Precision Medicine in Cancer
Tapsi Kumar (Navin Lab) 2019-2020
Jake Leighton (Navin Lab) 2019-2020
Presidents’ Research Scholarship
Atanu Paul (Wang Lab) 2015
Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship
Tapsi Kumar Seth (Navin Lab) 2020-2022
Jovanka Gencel Augusto (Lozano Lab) 2019-2022
Erin Williams (Gladden Lab) 2016-2017
Anna K. Casasent (Navin Lab) 2014-2017
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31, NCI)
Malcom Moses (Behringer Lab) 2021-2024
Rhiannon Morrissey (Lozano Lab) 2020-2023
Schissler Foundation Fellowship
Darlan Conterno Minussi (Navin Lab) 2021-2022
Sowell-Huggins Fellowship in Cancer Research
Hanghui Ye (Navin Lab) 2021-2022
Thomas F. Burks Scholarship for Academic Merit
Jovanka Gencel Augusto (Lozano Lab) 2022-2023
Students in the department pursue Ph.D. and M.S. degrees through training in the Genetics and Epigenetics graduate program within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In addition to research training, these programs offer students numerous opportunities to participate in research seminars presented by leading scientists and to build career skills through courses and workshops.
The Genetics & Epigenetics (G&E) Graduate Program is a research-oriented Ph.D. program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The research in G&E labs is broadly focused on the fundamental genetic, epigenetic, and genomic mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that cause cancer and other human diseases. From basic science investigations to translational studies, G&E students and faculty are actively engaged in the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that could one day lead to clinical advances.
The Quantitative Sciences (QS) Graduate Program is a research-oriented Ph.D. program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UT Health Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The training of researchers in QS labs focuses on developing and applying statistical and mathematical models using biostatistics, bioinformatics, systems biology and genomics. QS students and faculty work in close collaboration with biomedical researchers to develop new methods for the design and analysis of research studies and by formulating mathematical models of biologic systems, thereby contributing to our understanding of cancer biology and disease processes.
The Cancer Biology (CB) Program is a research-oriented Ph.D. program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. This program provides students with the highest quality of training in diverse areas of cancer biology research. The philosophy of the CB Program is to supplement traditional graduate school training with both depth and breadth of knowledge in cancer biology. Students will follow the standard format of choosing a single mentor who will guide an independent research project. However, our students frequently use the resources and expertise of several laboratories in different departments during the development of their cancer-related dissertation projects. This training provides a rich experience that increases the expertise and competitiveness of our graduates.
Many of the labs in Genetics offer research training for undergraduates. Opportunities are available year-round. During the summer many college students pursue research in the department through one of the MD Anderson summer research programs. For any of these opportunities, please look at our faculty members research interests, then contact them directly to apply to their lab.
Genetics Research Labs
Leah H. Byron, MSHA, MBA
Research Department Administrator
Department of Genetics
Office of the Chair
Department of Genetics
Principle Research Scientist
Susan Evans, Ph.D.
Department of Genetics