Mutation of the p53 gene is a critical event in the elaboration of many tumors of diverse origin. The p53 protein is activated in response to DNA damage, serving as a checkpoint in the elimination or repair of cells with damaged DNA. Alterations in components of the p53 pathway, such as amplification of the Mdm2 gene, which encodes a p53 inhibitor, also contribute to tumorigenesis. The overall goal of my laboratory is to understand the signals that regulate the p53 pathway and the consequences of expressing wild-type or mutant p53.
The p53 expert
Guillermina Lozano, Ph.D., has a long history of making discoveries in the field of cancer genetics. In 1987, she became the first to establish p53 as a transcriptional activator of other genes. Sometimes called the "guardian of the genome," p53 is a tumor supressor gene that, when neutralized, plays a critical role in the development of many types of tumors. In 2017, she became the sixth MD Anderson scientist to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. This is especially noteworthy since she's the first faculty member that's been chosen based on research conducted while at MD Anderson.
Leading the Way in Genetics Research
Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano awarded the President's Leadership Award for Advancing Women and Minority Faculty
Lozano was recognized for her contributions that made a significant impact on the career advancement of MD Anderson women and minority faculty.Lozano elected to National Academy of Sciences
Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano awarded the Charles A. LeMaistre Outstanding Achievement Award in Cancer
Lozano received the LeMaistre Award in recognition of her far-reaching contributions to markedly enhance the reputation of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Lozano elected to National Academy of Sciences
Lozano has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for her pioneering work in describing the p53 pathway, a recognized tumor suppressor gene associated with cancer. Lozano was the first to establish p53 as a transcriptional activator of other genes. 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. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.