The Department of Molecular Medicine in the Institute of Biotechnology (IBT) was established in 1994 to administer a program to train graduate students at the interface of basic and clinical sciences with an emphasis on biomedical research focused on discovering the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease and to serve as a platform for the development of novel treatment or prevention approaches. To date, our program has awarded over 120 doctoral degrees. Our graduates are placed in top-tier research universities and pharmaceutical companies across the United States and Europe. Our faculty have been successful in securing tens of millions of dollars from private and federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.
Now also located in the South Texas Research Facility (STRF), we offer a research-oriented, interdisciplinary program of study in the areas of cancer and aging and their prevention. Specific areas of study include: cell (and hormone) signaling, gene expression, epigenetics, cell cycle and checkpoint controls, DNA damage repair and associated stress responses, and regulated protein turnover. Under new leadership, Dr. Tim Huang is expanding our research to include a Systems approach to molecular medicine that offers students an integrated training program spanning molecular and cellular biology, quantitative biology, computational biology, and genomics.
Our goal is to educate and train the next generation of graduate students who will change the face of biomedical research and invent new ways to treat and prevent human diseases.
Molecular Medicine in the News
Graduate School Launches a New Masters in Personalized Molecular Medicine
The Masters program in Personalized Molecular Medicine (PMM) will uniquely position new graduates to join the work force with the skills necessary to participate fully in the next generation of patient-powered research and treatment. The PMM program will train students in current personalized medicine approaches as well as teach students the knowledge and skills required to explore molecular medicine pathways that will be targeted in the future to expand and refine personalized treatment strategies.
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Dr. Thomas Boyer awarded NIH grants to study uterine fibroids
Thomas G. Boyer, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine at UT Health San Antonio, has received two related NIH R01 grants to study uterine leiomyomas, also called uterine fibroids.
The first grant was for $1.56 million; the most recent, a five-year award for $3.8 million, was a multi-PI grant to Dr. Boyer and Ayman Al-Hendy, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Both awards have been made possible by a productive, ongoing collaboration with Dr. Robert Schenken and his team in the Department of OB/GYN here at UT Health San Antonio, said Dr. Boyer.
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Uncovering clues in BRCA1 breast cancer gene
Dr. Rong Li and his colleagues are changing the paradigm of how BRCA1 suppresses tumors
When Rong Li, Ph.D., transferred his laboratory to UT Health San Antonio, he finally felt he was making real progress in breast cancer research.
I was trained as a molecular biologist, and I studied the fundamental cellular processes in a lab setting, says Li, a professor of molecular medicine who left his faculty position at the University of Virginia in 2007. But I felt unsatisfied because I wanted to connect my lab findings more closely to human health.
At UT Health, he found the opportunity to collaborate with physician scientists, both at the international level and closer to home. UT Health breast oncologists Ismail Jatoi, M.D., and Richard Elledge, M.D., as well as plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Howard Wang, M.D., have offered cross-disciplinary support, and some of their patients donate breast tissue samples for Lis research.
The story is continued here.
Recent Publications with High Impact Factors
*L. Hulea, *S.P. Gravel, *M. Morita, M. Cargnello, O. Uchenunu, Y.K. Im, C. Lehud, E.H. Ma, M. Leibovitch, S. McLaughlan, M.J. Blouin, M. Parisotto, V. Papavasiliou, C. Lavoie, O. Larsson, M. Ohh, T. Ferreira, C. Greenwood, G. Bridon, D. Avizonis, G. Ferbeyre, P. Siegel, R.G. Jones, W. Muller, J. Ursini-Siegel, J. St-Pierre, M. Pollak, I. Topisirovic. (2018) Translational and HIF-1-Dependent Metabolic Reprogramming Underpin Metabolic Plasticity and Responses to Kinase Inhibitors and Biguanides, Cell Metabolism. 2018 September 20. Online. *Co-First authors.
Seol JH, Holland C, Li X, Kim C, Li F, Medina-Rivera M, Eichmiller R, Gallardo IF, Finkelstein IJ, Hasty P, Shim EY, Surtees JA, Lee SE. (2018) Distinct roles of XPF-ERCC1 and Rad1-Rad10-Saw1 in replication-coupled and uncoupled inter-strand crosslink repair. Nat Commun. 2018 May 23;9(1):2025. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04327-0. PubMed PMID: 29795289.
Patel MJ, Tripathy S, De Mukhopadhyay K, Wangjam T, Cabang AB, Morris J, Wargovich MJ. (2018) A Supercritical Co2 Extract of Neem Leaf (A. indica) and its Bioactive Liminoid, Nimbolide, Suppresses Colon Cancer in Preclinical Models by Modulating Pro-inflammatory Pathways. Mol Carcinogenesis. 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/mc.22832. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29697164
Park MJ, Shen H, Spaeth JM, Tolvanen JH, Failor C, Knudtson JF, McLaughlin J, Halder SK, Yang Q, Bulun SE, Al-Hendy A, Schenken RS, Aaltonen LA, Boyer TG. (2018) Oncogenic exon 2 mutations in Mediator subunit MED12 disrupt allosteric activation of cyclin C-CDK8/19. J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 30; 293(13):4870-4882. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.001725. Epub 2018 Feb 13.
Chen H, Shen F, Sherban A, Nocon A, Li Y, Wang H, Xu MJ, Rui X, Han J, Jiang B, Lee D, Li N, Keyhani-Nejad F, Fan JG, Liu F, Kamat A, Musi N, Guarente L, Pacher P, Gao B, Zang M. (2018) DEP domain-containing mTOR-interacting protein suppresses lipogenesis and ameliorates hepatic steatosis and acute-on-chronic liver injury in alcoholic liver disease. Hepatology. 2018 Feb 19. doi: 10.1002/hep.29849. [Epub ahead of print]
Recently Awarded Grants
Early Detection of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer by Assessing Interactions Between Circulating Tumor Cells and Accompanying Immune CellsDOD (CDMRP-PCRP), 9/1/18, $915,000Tim Huang, Ph.D., Maria Gaczynska, Ph.D.
Mechanisms of Error Prone Repair of DNA breaksNIH – National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 8/1/18, $1,250,500Sang Eun Lee, Ph.D.
2018 Young Investigator AwardThe Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund, 6/30/2018, $450,000Myron Ignatius, Ph.D.
Combating protein-misfolding diseasesWilliam & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 3/1/18, $100,000Hai Rao, Ph.D.
Hypovitaminosis D promotes MED12-associated genomic instability in uterine fibroidsNIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2/15/18, $3,819,365Thomas Boyer, Ph.D.
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