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Hu named 2019 McGovern teaching award winner

Photo of Dr. Jian Hu for 2019 McGovern award

Students from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences selected Jian Hu, PhD, as the recipient of the 2019 John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Hu is an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has been a faculty member at the Graduate School since 2014 and he is affiliated with the GSBS Programs in Cancer Biology and Neuroscience.

His current research focuses on glioblastoma, the most common type of brain tumor, and a regulatory protein called Quaking (QKI) as a glioma suppressor. Hu’s lab has been interested in a special type of glioblastoma cells called glioma stem cells, which possess an inexhaustible ability to self-renew and produce tumors that resemble the features of original tumors. His lab has recently discovered a new mechanism through which glioma stem cells maintain their stem cell features during invasion and migration. Targeting the genes involved in this mechanism may lead to novel therapeutic opportunities for this deadly disease.

"I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award recognized by our students,” said Hu. “Teaching and mentoring have always been my passion. To me, teaching is never about telling students facts; instead, it is about inspiring students to think independently, critically, and deeply. I always urge the students in my class and my lab to challenge and question what they have been told as dogmas. It is really encouraging to me that our students like my style of teaching."

He will receive this year’s award at the GSBS Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18.

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