August 2017


Dr. Karen Vasquez’s research was debuted on Texas Advanced Computing Center in an article entitled, “Mining Cancer Data for Treatment Clues” on May 22, 2107.

“A group led by Karen Vazquez, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at The University of Texas at Austin, has been working to find correlations between chromosomal rearrangements — one of the hallmarks of cancer genomes — and certain DNA sequences with the potential to fold into secondary structures.”

Read more here:

July 2017

CMCT members, Drs. DiGiovanni and Tiziani, teamed up on a collaborative study to identify combinations of natural compounds that can inhibit cancer.

“A new study from Dr. John DiGiovanni, professor of pharmacology and toxicology, and his colleague, Dr. Stefano Tiziani, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, identifies several natural compounds found in food, including turmeric, apple peels and red grapes, as key ingredients that could thwart the growth of prostate cancer, the most common cancer afflicting U.S. men, except for skin cancer and the third leading cause of cancer related death in men.”

The news release can be found here.

June 2017

This past spring we organized our first annual CMCT Symposium held May 18th at the Thompson Conference Center that included Dr. Gail Prins as our keynote speaker and research talks from a number of Center members. Posters were also presented by students and postdocs. This was a great event!







Drs. Vasquez and DiGiovanni reviewing a poster.

Dr. Andrea Gore presenting her talk.

CMCT News Spring 2015

San Diego Society of Toxicology Meeting photo

Faculty and graduate students share Longhorn spirit at the San Diego Society of Toxicology meeting.



Pharmacology/Toxicology LinkedIn group site

UT Tower and College LogosA LinkedIn group site has been developed for the alumni and friends of the graduate program in pharmacology and toxicology at The University of Texas at Austin. By joining the Pharm/Tox LinkedIn group you can keep in touch and network with your fellow alumni and friends as well as learn about the exciting events and discoveries occurring in the division. On the other hand, by having access to your LinkedIn profile, our staff members are able to keep track of your career progress and contact information without having to contact you via email. Join now by visiting our site.

 Lone Star SOT meeting

Photo at LSSOTCMCT was a sponsor for the Lone Star Chapter of Society of Toxicology (LSSOT) annual meeting at the Radisson Hotel in Austin on November 13-14, 2014. The theme of the meeting was “Environmental Influences on the Immune System,” with an outstanding keynote lecture from Dr. David Sherr, Boston University School of Public Health.

We had a great turnout from Texas universities, with exceptional platform and poster presentations by graduate students and postdocs. Prizes were awarded to the top three presenters in each category, including:


  • First place, Charles Zogzas (UT Austin)
  • Second place, Natividad Fuentes (A&M)
  • Third place, Stacey Gaskill (Baylor).


  • First place, Ashley Solmonson (UT Austin)
  • Second place, Dwayne Carter (UTMB)
  • Third place, Kristin Di Bona (UT Austin)
Congratulations to our UT Austin winners!

Dr. Wright with Students





Vasquez honored

VasquezDr. Karen Vasquez, professor of pharmacology and toxicology, is among five faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin recently elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Vasquez, the James T. Doluisio Regents Professor in the College of Pharmacy, was recognized for pioneering contributions concerning genome instability, particularly by demonstrating that non-canonical DNA structures can be mutagenic, and for discovering new roles for DNA repair factors.

She identified three areas of research focus on her website including:

• DNA structure in genomic instability and human disease.

• Molecular mechanisms of DNA damage recognition and repair.

• Novel strategies to modify gene structure and function in living organisms

AAAS fellows are chosen annually by their peers to distinguish individuals who are members of the association cited for “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications which are scientifically or socially distinguished.”

Vasquez is joined by four other UT Austin faculty members in fellow selection by AAAS this year including from the College of Natural Sciences, Richard Warren Aldrich, professor of neuroscience, and Stanley Roux, professor of molecular biosciences; and from the Cockrell School of Engineering, Roger T. Bonnecaze, professor of chemical engineering, and Aramugan Manthiram, professor of mechanical engineering.

Trainee Highlights

  • Dr. Imee del Mundo (postdoc, Vasquez lab) is a recipient of a CPRIT fellowship.
  • Angela Stermer (graduate student, Richburg lab) was awarded an AFPE pre-doctoral award in pharmaceutical science.
  • Sarah Song (undergraduate student, Vasquez lab) received a CPRIT SURP fellowship.
  • Lisa Tremmel (graduate student, DiGiovanni lab) received a PhRMA pre-doctoral fellowship

Recent Awards

Jonathan Mercado (undergraduate student, Mukhopadhyay lab) was awarded the Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology or Genetics Research ($500) from the 2015 Undergraduate Research Forum.

Momentum builds toward Acosta endowment

Dr.and Mrs. AcostaMomentum continues to build toward establishing the Daniel and Patricia Acosta Graduate Endowment in Pharmacy.  Dan and Patricia have gotten the fund-raising off to a great start with their $25,000 pledge toward establishing an endowment to assist graduate education within the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology.  Since their initial pledge, many alumni of the division have stepped forward with their own gifts. This endowment is the latest example of the couple’s commitment to giving back.  If you, too, are ready to pay it forward, you can make your gift.

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Texas Pharmacy: The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy