<img src="images/alt_swf_content.jpg" alt="Department of Molecular Medicine, Institute of Biotechnology, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio" />

Welcome to the Department of Molecular Medicine/Institute of Biotechnology


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 Master’s 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.

For more information, click here.

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.

For the rest of this story, please click here.

Recent Publications with High Impact Factors

Zhijie Liu, Chi Zhu, Zhao Zhang, Mingjun Bi, Chen, Lizhen. 2019. A non-canonical role of YAP/TEAD is required for activation of estrogen-regulated enhancers in breast cancer. Molecular Cell. In Press.

Lotan Y, Boorjian SA, Zhang J, Bivalacqua TJ, Porten SP, Wheeler T, Lerner SP, Hutchinson R, Francis F, Davicioni E, Svatek RS, Chen CL, Black PC, Gibb EA. 2019. Molecular subtyping of clinically localized urothelial carcinoma reveals lower rates of pathological upstaging at radical cystectomy among luminal tumors. European Urology. In Press.

Zhou Y, Gerrard DL, Wang J, Li T, Yang Y, Fritz AJ, Rajendran M, Fu X, Schiff R, Lin S, Frietze S, Jin VX. (2019) Temporal dynamic reorganization of 3D chromatin architecture in hormone-induced breast cancer and endocrine resistance. Nat Commun. 10(1):1522. PMID: 30944316

*#M. Morita, *N. Siddiqui, S. Katsumura, C. Rouya, O. Larsson, T. Nagashima, B. Hekmatnejad, A. Takahashi, H. Kiyonari, M. Zang, R. St-Arnaud, Y. Oike, V. Giguere, I. Topisirovic, M. Okada-Hatakeyama, T. #Yamamoto, N. #Sonenberg. A hepatic post-transcriptional network comprising of CCR4-NOT deadenylase and FGF21 maintains systemic metabolic homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, online (2019). *First authors and #Corresponding authors.

Li F, Wang Q, Seol JH, Che J, Lu X, Shim EY, Lee SE, Niu H. (2019) Apn2 resolves blocked 3' ends and suppresses Top1-induced mutagenesis at genomic rNMP sites. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2019 Mar;26(3):155-163. doi: 10.1038/s41594-019-0186-1. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

*L. Hulea, *S.P. Gravel, *M. Morita, M. Cargnello, O. Uchenunu, Y.K. Im, C. Lehuédé, 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-1α-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

Hepatokine Control of Metabolic Crosstalk and Insulin Resistance
NIH/NIDDK RO1 (Zang, PI), 2019, $620,000
Mengwei Zang, MD, PhD

Alcohol-induced Dysregulation of Thiol Homeostasis and Endothelial Function
NIH/NIAAA R21 (Zang and Han, Multiple PIs) 2019, $440,000
Mengwei Zang, MD, PhD

Endometriosis diagnosis by communicome gene single-cell expression
Presidential Translational and Entrepreneurial Research Fund, 2019, $25,000
Nameer B. Kirma, Ph.D.

Berberine in prevention of biochemical recurrence
Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, 2019, $900,000
A. Pratap Kumar, Ph.D.

Potentiation of Gemcitabine activity in pancreatic cancer
William & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 2019, $96,810
A. Pratap Kumar, Ph.D.

Epigenetic-mediated alternative splicing in SF3B1-mutated CLL patients
William & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 2019, $100,000
Victor Jin, Ph.D.

Development of novel anti-cancer compounds targeting dimerization of proteasome with its regulatory modules
William & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 2019, $99,177
Maria Gaczynska, Ph.D., Pawel Osmulski, Ph.D.

Precision targeting of MED12-mutant CLL with Notch inhibitors
William & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 2019, $100,000
Thomas Boyer, Ph.D.

Combating Protein-misfolding Diseases
William & Ella Owens Foundation of America, 2019, $100,000
Hai Rao, Ph.D.

UT Rising Stars Award
University of Texas System, 2018, $250,000
Masahiro Morita, Ph.D.

Click to donate