The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences alumnus Dan Graur, PhD, has been named the 2018-2019 GSBS Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.
He received his PhD in Population Genetics in 1985 and his advisor was Masatoshi Nei, PhD.
Before studying at the Graduate School, Graur obtained a bachelor’s in biology (1978) and master’s in zoology (1980) from Tel Aviv University. After graduating from the GSBS, he did his postdoctoral studies at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Germany.
Today, Graur is the Moores Professor in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at University of Houston and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His research interests consist of computational, statistical, and analytical aspects of gene and genome evolution, in particular assessing the relative contributions of mutation, selection, and random genetic drift to the genetic makeup of organisms.
“I arrived in Houston on a proverbial ‘dark and stormy night’ in October 1980, said Graur. “I was armed with the impertinence of youth and a master thesis on insect mating behavior. I left five years later armed with a great amount of information, a modicum of knowledge, a smidgen of wisdom, and all the necessary tools to start a career researching DNA evolution. I am forever thankful to my teachers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences for instilling in me clarity of thought, scientific independence, and ethical rigor.”
He will receive his award at the GSBS Commencement Ceremony to be held on May 18, 2019.