UT’s Michelle Barton Recognized by Prestigious Science Organization

Article ID: 645140

Released: 18-Dec-2015 9:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Credit: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

    Michelle Barton, Ph.D.

Newswise — Michelle Barton, Ph.D., one of two deans at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Fellowship is an honor bestowed to AAAS members by their peers.

Barton is a cancer researcher and her laboratory is investigating the genetic causes of tumor growth. This year, an estimated 1,658,370 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 589,430 people will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.

She is one of 347 members awarded this honor in 2015 by the AAAS for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be honored on Feb. 13 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Barton was elected to the biological sciences section of the AAAS for her contributions to understanding p53 tumor suppression in stem cells. Tumor suppressors are genes that help prevent cancer growth.

This information could pave the way for new treatments for a variety of cancers including those affecting blood, breast and liver.

The Graduate School has trained more than 2,000 biomedical scientists and is operated by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

In 2012, Barton was named one of two joint deans along with Michael Blackburn, Ph.D. Barton’s laboratory is at MD Anderson and Blackburn’s laboratory is at UTHealth. Blackburn is the William S. Kilroy Sr. Chair in Pulmonary Disease and the John P. McGovern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Endowed Distinguished Professor at UTHealth.

She is a professor in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at MD Anderson and is also the co-director of the MD Anderson Center for Stem Cell and Developmental Biology.

Barton hails from Franklin, Ill. and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer.

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine (www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org) and Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.


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