Two scientists appointed to lead the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston

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Serving as joint deans of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston are Michelle Barton, Ph.D. and Michael Blackburn, Ph.D.

Serving as joint deans of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston are Michelle Barton, Ph.D. and Michael Blackburn, Ph.D.

HOUSTON - (Aug. 2, 2012) - Michelle Barton, Ph.D. and Michael Blackburn, Ph.D. have been appointed to serve jointly as deans of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.

The graduate school, training nearly 600 students, is a unique partnership between The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Barton is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MD Anderson, and Blackburn is a professor and vice chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UTHealth Medical School.

Barton earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1989. From 1989 to 1994, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. Prior to joining the MD Anderson faculty in 2000, she served on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati. Barton has been a faculty member of the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences since her arrival at MD Anderson, and her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and more recently by two major awards from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.  Barton’s research on stem cells, liver regeneration and breast cancer is unified by a focus on chromatin function and the roles of the tumor suppressor gene p53 in normal cells.

Blackburn earned his Ph.D. in developmental biology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in 1993. From 1993 to1997, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine. Since 1997, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTHealth Medical School and a member of the faculty at the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research on chronic lung disorders has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 15 years, and he has received several awards including an American Lung Association Career Development Award and a Young Investigator Award from the American Asthma Foundation.

Together, Barton and Blackburn have trained 24 students at the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and have received numerous teaching and mentoring awards, including the Paul E. Darlington Mentor Award.  They also have directed graduate school programs and chaired the school’s Executive Committee.

Barton and Blackburn succeed George Stancel, Ph.D., who served as dean of the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences for 13 years. Stancel is now executive vice president for academic and research affairs at UTHealth.