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Discovery Science and Translational Medicine Research

Life-changing biomedical breakthroughs begin in the laboratory—with discovery science serving as the foundation of research at MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School.

Discovery Science and Translational Medicine Research

Before a cancer treatment can save a patient’s life, researchers must study the disease at the molecular level. Therapies only become reality after scientists develop the mechanisms by which it works. 

Our faculty and student researchers at MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School pursue these discoveries every day, using the most advanced technology and latest methods to overcome the most challenging diseases of our time.

They apply a broad range of biomedical disciplines, from cell biology to neuroscience and biostatistics, to find the answers that have eluded medical science. They do this with the combined institutional backing of UTHealth and MD Anderson Cancer Center, along with the collaborative support of the other UTHealth schools.

The urgency of biomedical science research becomes clear in the lives of patients who struggle with diseases not yet vanquished by modern medicine. They are the reason for our mission, and we will never stop striving to find the answers they need. 

The solutions to the greatest biomedical challenges of our time lie before us, ready for dedicated scientists to unlock them. Your support of Many Faces. One Mission. can provide the faculty and student researchers of MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School with the resources to find the answers that will make longer, healthier lives a reality.

  • Uncovering the roots of disease and finding solutions that save lives requires commitment, innovation, and the insatiable desire to learn. We embrace these qualities each day as we leverage the latest advances in biomedical science to help create a healthier future.

    Claudio Soto, PhD

    Huffington Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurology

    Professor, Department of Neurology

    Director, The George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders

    McGovern Medical School at UTHealth


    Regular Member

    MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School

  • Cancer Research

    We are pioneering advancements in harnessing the body’s immune system to attack cancer. Immunotherapies have shown vast potential in cancer treatment, sometimes sending even advanced stage cancer into remission without the harmful side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Additionally, we are identifying how mutations within cancer can play a major role in treatment, either hindering existing therapies or providing targets for new lines of drugs. Our experts demonstrated that these mutations do not accumulate randomly, but they happen in distinct patterns. This knowledge can help scientists better understand cancer and develop more effective treatments. 

  • Brain Research

    Understanding how the brain functions is crucial to developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Our researchers demonstrated that the brain operates differently in a laboratory setting as opposed to a more natural environment, identifying potential limitations to current studies of neuron function. Our scientists are also working to better understand concussions by documenting how a concussion impacts each cell in the brain. By knowing which cells are injured post-concussion, researchers can test different drugs to determine their effectiveness at healing injured cells.

  • Infectious Disease Research

    We are determining the role of inflammation in fighting infections. While inflammation plays a key role in fighting infection, it can cause serious harm in the case of traumatic brain injuries. We have demonstrated that blocking certain parts of the body’s inflammatory response to injury can markedly reduce brain inflammation, opening the door to a potentially new treatment path.