Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Student Life

December 06, 2018

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio has a vibrant student life. Students can join campus clubs and student organizations such as the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) chapter on campus, Women in Science Development Outreach Mentoring club (WISDOM) or the International Club. UT Health San Antonio is located in San Antonio close by to The Historic Pearl neighborhood where students can visit restaurants, or stroll the Riverwalk where there are always fun events happening such as the Holiday Lights or St. Patrick's Day Parade; or support the Spurs at the AT&T Center where the Spurs plays its home games. Our students are also deeply involved in the San Antonio community in a variety of ways and routinely participate in science outreach.

Physiology and Pharmacology Discipline Video

October 10, 2018

The Physiology and Pharmacology discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program integrates the study of fundamental mechanisms of normal and disease function at the molecular, cellular and organ/system levels to spur discoveries; leading to new and improved treatments for human disease. We engage in scientific discovery to elucidate biological processes, explore the pathophysiological basis of disease and identify novel therapeutic strategies for restoring normal function. Students have the opportunity to do cutting-edge research within the areas of cardiovascular physiology, neurophysiology, physiological basis of aging, neuropharmacology and mental health research cancer pharmacology, diabetes, addiction and pain research.  

See more at:  

Candidacy Ceremony

August 22, 2018

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio hosted a candidacy ceremony on Aug 17 to recognize our new doctoral candidates. This is an exciting milestone on the journey towards a doctoral degree and we would like to congratulate these students on this achievement!



2018 candidacy slideshow


UT Health San Antonio Video

July 30, 2018

 At your UT Health San Antonio, we make lives better through our missions of education, research, clinical care and community service. As we teach, discover and heal, we remain ever committed to building a brighter tomorrow — a future of hope for patients and their families — here at home and around the world. The video was produced by Marketing, Communications & Media Services.

Learn more at

We are UT Health San Antonio. from UT Health San Antonio on Vimeo.

Doctorate of Medical Physics

May 15, 2018

The Doctorate of Medical Physics program is the third nationally accredited DMP program in the nation. It aims to enhance and standardize clinical training for medical physicists. Whereas the medical physics doctorate program (Ph.D.) offered at UTHSCSA prepares the students for a research career in medical physics, the DMP is a professional degree that prepares the students for a clinical career in the either imaging or therapeutic medical physics.

This four year degree program is similar in structure to other professional degrees, such as the M.D., D.D.S., DVM, in that it combines a didactic and clinical training curriculum throughout the four years of studies. A student is admitted to either the imaging or the therapy track and stays in that track for the duration of their studies.

Learn more:

Personalized Molecular Medicine Program

April 30, 2018

The Graduate School has a launched a new graduate program, the Master of Science in Personalized Molecular Medicine.

 The Masters program in Personalized Molecular Medicine (PMM) will uniquely position new graduates to join the work force with the skills necessary to participate fully in the next generation of “patient-powered” research and treatment. The PMM program will train students in current personalized medicine approaches as well as teach students the knowledge and skills required to explore molecular medicine pathways that will be targeted in the future to expand and refine personalized treatment strategies. 

Personalized or Precision Medicine will be the norm for medicine in the future and the PMM program will ensure that graduates fully engage as active participants in the evolution of this approach to medicine. Students will gain foundational training in biological systems, molecular mechanisms, and cutting edge translational technologies.

Training will include next generation molecular technology to devise and implement personalized strategies to prevent and treat human diseases based on individual susceptibilities through the study of complex and integrated biological systems. Students will receive first-hand experience in the use of the latest technologies in next generation sequencing, single cell analysis, computational biology, epigenomics, proteomics, drug design, animal models of human diseases, systems approaches, as well as instruction in “mining” the multitude of human disease databases such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). 

Programmatic faculty members participate actively in systems biology research focused on understanding a range of human disorders including cancer, developmental defects, hormone dysregulation, and metabolic disorders. Students will participate in didactic classroom instruction, team based learning, and hands-on laboratory training with a choice between a Thesis/Research or Course-Based plan of study.

For more information about the new program,  click here.


April 10, 2018

The Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program provides training in areas ranging from molecular, cellular, and neurochemical to systems, behavioral, and clinical, all focused on regulation and function of the nervous system. 

See more at:

Mentor Day

February 02, 2018

The Initiative on Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program held a “IMSD Mentor Appreciation Lunch” on Jan. 17 to celebrate the importance of mentor relationships in helping students succeed.

The  Initiative on Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program is a National Institute of Health student development program to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical research at research-intensive environments. The event was held on International Mentoring Day which also coincidences with January’s National Mentoring Month.

“We are completely dependent on you as mentors to train these students,” said  Dr. Nicquet Blake, associate dean for admissions and student affairs at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and principal investigator of the IMSD grant.

During the event, Dr. Blake gave some background history on the IMSD program.

“Around 2010, we looked at the data and only 12 percent of our students were underrepresented, and we also saw that when we brought in underrepresented students, 40 percent would leave after the first year and 60 percent would take longer than their peers to graduate,” she said.

She explained that after the launch of IMSD, she has seen tremendous changes.

“Our data shows that now our students are graduating at the same rate as their peers and now 27 percent of students are from underrepresented groups,” she said.

In order to help recognize the efforts of mentors, the program created the “Mentor of the Year” award which was based on submissions of IMSD students.

“There is no one correct way to mentor,” Dr. Blake said. “What we wanted to do was recognize mentors that shine and if you didn’t win this year, then you should keep trying to be the best mentor you can be for next year’s award.”

The award for “IMSD Mentor of the Year” was awarded to  Dr. Alfred Fisher, a physician-scientist who is both the head of an active basic-science focused research lab, and active in multiple service activities at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital and on the UT Health Science Center campus.

 Dr. Fisher was nominated by Phillip Webster, a fourth-year graduate student in the Cell Biology, Genetics & Molecular Medicine discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. Phillip gave a brief speech about the impact that Dr. Fisher has had on his education and scientific training at UT Health San Antonio.

“Al has been one of the best mentors I have had the pleasure of working with who is responsible for turning me into a competent scientist and I thought no one would ever beat my undergraduate mentor. I have seen Al go above and beyond for his students as one of the few professors I know who is readily hands on when you need protocol assistance and has an open-door policy to bounce ideas off of and vent research frustrations too. Most importantly, Al remembers what it was like to be a graduate student and how important it is to maintain a work-life balance. There was never a time where I did not feel wholly supported on the shoulders of such a great scientist. Every ridiculous, high hopes idea I had was met with an enthusiastic smile and an extensive discussion on methodology, hypothesis, and analysis. I am completely positive now that he expected very few if any to work, but it was clear that his enthusiasm rooted in his love for science and discovery matched mine every time. He has become a scientist that I aspire toward.”

Dr. Kay Oyajobi, professor in the Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy, attended the event and said that he thought that “it was a very good thing to get students to think about what mentors bring to their training.”

Mentors play an important role in providing scientific training to help students learn how to responsibly conduct research.

The AAMC Compact Between Biomedical Graduate Students and Their Research Advisors further explains that mentors help create an “environment in which the student can discuss and explore career opportunities and paths that match their skills, values, and interests and be supportive of their career path choices.”

Shaimar Gonzales, a second-year student in the  Cell Biology, Genetics & Molecular Medicine discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program, explained that it “was nice to appreciate mentors because it will inspire them to work harder to get the award for the next year.”

Allison Hester, a second-year student in the  Infection, Inflammation and Immunity discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program, said that “the event is a great way to communicate our appreciation for out mentors. Our mentors shape the way we think of science everyday so they have a huge impact on our future success and leadership.”

Kristin Rogers, an  M.D./Ph.D. GS4 student, echoed the same thought and said that “every relationship has ups and downs and events like this can help us to show appreciation. We may not always say it but we do appreciate our mentors.”



Networking and Small Talk 101 for Scientists with Dr. Teresa Evans

January 31, 2018

Teresa Evans, Ph.D. teaches you the essential skills for scientists to successfully network in a variety of environments.

More tips:

People. Passion. Promise. - Journey 2017

November 14, 2017

At UT Health San Antonio, each of us is on a journey to help create a better tomorrow. Because of you, and with the combined efforts of our entire faculty, staff, residents and students, as well as our community partners, we have the opportunity to make UT Health San Antonio better. Thank you for sharing your passion and promise and for joining us on our exciting journey to make lives better.

People. Passion. Promise. - Journey 2017 from <

UT Health Voices

October 26, 2017

The third annual UT Voices and speed networking event held in the Holly Auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 2 gave students the unique opportunity to engage with other students and alumni from their programs as well as those outside their specific schools.

The beginning of the night started with food and socializing as the speed networking portion of the evening. Afterwards, students from all over UT Health San Antonio had had a chance to meet each other and network with some alumni, the speakers headed to the stage. Of the ten speakers, five were students, and five were alumni all of which proceeded to share with the audience their experiences thus far with UT Health.

“I came to this event with hopes that I could connect and meet people that I may work with in the future,” said one nursing student. Throughout the night students from every school expressed their desire to meet people outside of their programs, especially because they know that the real world work environment includes a variety of occupations. 

Many of the students spoke up about the fact that they feel slightly isolated to their school, and hope events like UT Voices make it easier to get out of their program bubble.

“I hope that events like this can help foster a sense of community between students. It can help to lower stress levels to know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling,” said nursing school alumna and recent graduate from the Family Nurse Practitioner program Kristen Furl. She also explained how creating an environment of students from all disciplines who are comfortable and confident around each other is of upmost importance. 

“Interprofessionalism is the future,” Furl said. "Learning to work together now will translate to better patient outcomes and more complete healthcare provision.

UT Voices was created not only to bridge the gap between peers, but also between students and people already in the workforce. Whether it is for professional or personal reasons, being able to talk to someone who has been through what you have been through can be invaluable. This is the idea behind inviting the alumni to come and be apart of this event.

The speakers rotated through their different programs, with the student starting and the alumnus following them. Medical, Dental, Health Professions, Nursing, and the graduate school programs were all represented throughout the night. The juxtaposition of student to graduate helped show that a lot of the things the students were talking about, were important steps along each of the alumnus’ journey to where they are now.

Alumna from the Graduate School Dr. Jessica Ibarra, spoke about the non-traditional journey that led her to UT Health; as a 16-year-old high school drop out with two kids, it would have been easy for her think that she would never get her Ph.D. The alumnus from the medical school, Dr. Dina Tom, talked about her path from first college graduate in her family and non-competitive medical school candidate to receiving a full ride and completing a pediatric fellowship.

While each speaker’s individual stories were all diverse, many of them had similar advice to give. Many of the students spoke about their personal drivers for their chosen professions. Whether it was medical student Ann Ding's doctor in Kenya that saved her from a severe reaction to an anti-malaria drug that partially paralyzed her, or the nursing student Amir Zakaria’s nurse team that made his hospital stay while overcoming his cancer bearable, it is safe to say there is a reason each of these students wound up where they are today. 

E ach alumnus that followed the student speakers commented on how much the reason for why you are doing what you are doing is the most important thing you can remember.

Both current and past students have seen the need for fostering a more collaborative environment and work to achieve this by participating in events like UT Voices. By attending events similar to this one, alumni and students can continue to show support for their fellow UT Health programs, and benefit from the multidisciplinary culture. 

Short Video

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Student Speaker: Ngoni Madungwe

I hail from a small town called Masvingo, in the southern half of Zimbabwe. Born and raised in a dusty neighborhood, but with dreams to “change the world”, I quickly gravitated to science and a healthy dose of math as my mom is a math professor. I moved to Boston to pursue my undergrad degree in Chemical Engineering at Tufts University. Having gotten a taste of biomedical research, I knew that’s where my path would lead and following graduation I started work at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. As part of a pharmaceutical development team, I helped formulate a cystic fibrosis (CF) medication that earned FDA approval; the first drug for patients that goes beyond simply treating symptoms but deals with the underlying genetic causes of CF. Next on my path was graduate training where I’m pursuing my PhD in biomedical engineering in the Joint UTHSCSA/UTSA Program. My current research focuses on finding ways “to mend broken hearts” – i.e. tissue engineering and physiology applications to create better treatments for heart attack patients.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Alumni Speaker: Jessica Ibarra, Ph.D., Class of 2009

Dr. Jessica M. Ibarra, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical and Applied Science Education at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) at the Medical Campus in Brook City Base in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Ibarra teaches gross anatomy and neuroanatomy in the Master of Biomedical Sciences Program. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Ibarra received her doctorate degree in Cellular and Structural Biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UT) where she also attended dental school and completed a postdoctoral fellowship. Following receipt of her doctorate, Dr. Ibarra joined UIW in 2009 where she progressed from adjunct instructor to founding faculty of the School of Osteopathic Medicine. Her scholarly work and interests have led her to teach anatomical sciences to health professional students. As a researcher, she conducted studies to explore the role of key inflammatory factors involved in chronic diseases such as heart failure, arthritis, and diabetes. When Dr. Ibarra is not teaching, she inspires students to be curious about science with visits to local schools. She performs hands-on science activities during Physiology Understanding Week, at the Science Fiesta, and the USA Science Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Dr. Ibarra’s passion for teaching and service translates into facilitating learning in the next generation scientists and physicians. Dr. Ibarra is a native of San Antonio and is married to Armando Ibarra. Together they are the proud parents of Ryan, Brianna, and Christian Ibarra.

School of Medicine Student Speaker: Ann Ding

I was born in the small town of Fargo, North Dakota, where I had a happy childhood full of fishing, ice-skating, and lots of snow. I moved to Tennessee in middle school and attended undergraduate university at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. There, I majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and triple minored in Chemistry, General Music, and Chinese Language & Culture. I took an interim year between undergraduate and medical school to volunteer with InterVarsity campus ministries. During my first and second years of medical school, I traveled to Ethiopia for global health trips, and I intend to practice global health in my future career.My extracurricular activities during medical school have included singing in our medical school acapella group Egophony and traveling two summers to Ethiopia for global health trips. Some of my favorite hobbies include playing my guitar, finding good eats in San Antonio, and going to Body Pump, an aerobics weight lifting class.

School of Medicine Alumni Speaker: Dina Tom, M.D., Class of 2010

Dr. Dina Tom is currently a Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics at the Division of Inpatient Pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She received her bachelor’s from UT Austin and then completed her medical degree and residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She is interested in collaborative clinical research, evidence based practice and protocol development. She is involved in medical student education serving as a faculty contributor in CIRCLE curriculum.

School of Dentistry Student Speaker: Daniel Yates

Daniel Yates was born in Taipei, Taiwan but grew up in Katy, TX. Prior to dental school, Daniel went to Texas Tech University to pursue his interest in science and technology and completed both a Bachelor’s program and Master’s program. During his Master’s studies he launched a start up company built around his team’s patent-pending research in the healthcare field. With the help of a local accelerator program and a grant from the National Science Foundation, his team was able to bring his product to market and raised seed funding from venture capitalists. Daniel is also an active leader in organized dentistry and served as Chapter President of the American Student Dental Association. He is a passionate advocate for the dental profession and partners with San Antonio District Society, the Texas Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and other organizations for the advancement of dental students. Recently, he has become interested in leveraging dental informatics to provide more targeted and customized patient care. 

School of Dentistry Alumni Speaker: Maria Lopez Howell, D.D.S., Class of 1983

Dr. Maria Lopez Howell graduated from the UT Health dental school in 1983. She joined her Alma Mater's faculty in 1985 and maintains an adjunct clinical professor appointment. In 1994, she was granted a years' sabbatical to complete the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. Dr. Howell was appointed to the San Antonio Mayor’s Committee on Community Water Fluoridation in 1995 to successfully assist city officials in achieving this public health initiative. Dr. Howell has been a bilingual spokesperson for the American Dental Association for over 25 years. For 14 years, she hosted the American Dental Association’s, Dental Minute, the longest running public service announcement program in the history of public television and was awarded a Nielsen Media Research Award for the over 1 million aired TV and radio shows. In 2015, she became the first recipient of the UTHSCSA Dental School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Howell maintains a full-time private practice with her dental school classmate and husband of 34 years, Mark, in the San Antonio area and cherishes time spent with their adult children, Blake and Candace.

School of Health Professions Student Speaker: JJ Gossett

My name is JJ Gossett, and I am the physician assistant class of 2018 president at UT Health San Antonio. I am originally from San Angelo, and I come from a very close family who supports one another and loves unconditionally. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Baylor University in 2016 with a Master of Science degree in nutrition sciences and a thesis focus on child malnutrition. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, but my parents taught me everything a textbook couldn’t and have shaped me into the person I am today. After embarking on a medical brigade to Ghana, Africa, I knew my calling was to become a physician assistant with hopes to free others from pain and suffering, both medically and spiritually. For fun, I enjoy drag racing with my family on free weekends.

School of Health Professions Alumni Speaker: Tracey Fontenot, PT, Class of 1996

Tracey Fontenot is a local physical therapist for children with physical disabilities. She discovered an absence of sports and recreational programs for children with special needs in San Antonio. Seeing a gap in services for these children, Ms. Fontenot and co-founder Kacey Wernli (SHP alumna) developed a solution, and started the nonprofit organization Kinetic Kids. She received a bachelor’s in psychology, and a minor in biology from Texas A&M University from 1993 and then came to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to complete a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1996. She has expertise in pediatric inpatient, outpatient, and specialty clinics in children’s hospitals; consulted in hospital based spasticity management clinic, seating clinics, cystic fibrosis clinic, spina bifida clinics, and implemented exercise programs for a variety of specific diagnoses, including childhood obesity. She has been with Kinetic Kids since 2001 and is a co-founder of the organization. Tracey is married to Scott Fontenot, also a PT and has three children, Ty, Travis, and Tessa. Tracey’s interest include running, anything outdoors, and cheering on her three kids at their many sports endeavors.

School of Nursing Student Speaker: Amir Zakaria

My name is Amir Zakaria. I am an eighth semester student at UT Health School Of Nursing. I was born in Damascus, Syria and grew up in Benghazi, Libya. After graduating from high school, I came to the United States and attended the University of Southern Mississippi English Language Institute. I later transferred to the University of West Alabama. I’ve had a long and distinguished career in business, but realized that I wanted to finish school. In May of 2013, with the support of my wife, and my eleven-year old daughter, I returned to school and enrolled in Alamo Colleges. My major is Biology/Pre-Nursing. My interest in nursing was revealed in 2013 as an active volunteer at a Corazon Clinic, which provides healthcare for the homeless and uninsured, serving an average of 40 patients each Sunday morning. I’m grateful that I’ve found my calling and I’m looking forward to gaining a nursing degree. My nursing school experience solidified my love and respect for the profession. I’m an avid reader, love to travel, hunting, fishing and play soccer. I’ve been playing for years. In fact, I was honored to have played professionally for two years in Libya before moving to the U.S.

School of Nursing Alumni Speaker: Kirsten Furl, B.S.N., M.S.N., Class of 2014, 2016

Kirsten Furl graduated in 2016 with a masters in nursing and 2015 with a BSN, both from the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. For the last year, she has worked at Connally Memorial Medical Center's outpatient clinics in Floresville. Ms. Furl’s time is split between family practice and gastroenterology.

About the Author

MaryAnn is currently a research assistant in the Cellular and Integrative Physiology department, with hopes of attending a Biochemistry and Structural Biology graduate program in fall 2018.

Neuroscience Student Spotlight

October 18, 2017

Alexandra Sharp is a student in the Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

For more information:

Gala Video Features Cardiovascular Researchers & Establish Heart Disease Endowment

September 26, 2017

A new endowment focused on heart disease research was established at last week's President's Gala. The proceeds from the gala will go to the Lacie and Joe Gorder President’s Endowment in Heart Disease Research.

Joe Gorder is chairman, president and CEO of Valero Energy Corp. He and Mrs. Gorder are interested in helping children born with heart defects. Honorary chairs of the President’s Gala were Bill and Margie Klesse. Mr. Klesse is the former chairman, president and CEO of Valero Energy Corp.

At the gala, Dr. Henrich announced that the Gorders “have made a personal pledge that essentially matches all the funds raised tonight, so that the new endowment will be, at its inception, over $1 million.”

The Gorder President’s Endowment will help to find new therapies and cures, shape prevention protocols and ensure access to cutting-edge health care that benefits patients across the life span. UT Health San Antonio’s cadre of adult and pediatric cardiovascular disease physicians are experienced experts in treating the most-complex cases, and are a crucial resource for referrals from San Antonio, South Texas and beyond.

Disease affects young and old alike

Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of adults in Texas, and each year nearly 4,000 Texas children are born with a congenital heart defect.

“While the impact of heart disease is staggering, advances in research are improving the prevention, early detection and treatment of heart disease in adults and helping more infants with congenital heart disease, like Evie, to survive to adulthood,” Dr. Henrich said.

Each year the President’s Gala raises more than $500,000 to support clinical, research and education programs of the university. Past galas have established funds to support programs in multiple areas, including trauma care, cancer care and research, and, in 2016, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Not yet a victory lap

“Our goal tonight is met to fund a new research endowment in heart disease at UT Health San Antonio,” Dr. Henrich said. “You may be aware that in the last decade, progress in research has produced new therapies and this has led, for the first time in the modern era, to a reduction in overall mortality and morbidity from heart disease. But this is not the time to do a victory lap.”

Cardiovascular disease accounted for more than 800,000 deaths last year in the U.S. and is still the leading cause of death in Americans, responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths. More than 90 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease, and 2,200 Americans die every day from the disease. The cost of heart disease approached $350 billion in the U.S. last year. By 2030, the costs of global cardiovascular disease will be over $1 trillion.

Cardiovascular Research

The Gala also showcased a video featuring Dr. Jean Bopassa and Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student Ngoni Madungwe. Ngoni was also selected as this year's Voices speaker for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research focuses on using tissue engineering and physiology applications to create better treatments for heart attack patients. The event will take place on October 2.

2017 President's Gala video of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, now called UT Health San Antonio from UT Health San Antonio on Vimeo.

This article was adapted from a UT Health Newsroom Article written by Will Sansom. 

2017 President's Gala video of the UT Health S

New Faculty Videos

September 21, 2017

Check out these new videos of faculty produced by the School of Medicine.

GSBS Candidacy Ceremony

August 23, 2017

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio hosted a candidacy ceremony on Aug 18 to recognize our new doctoral candidates. This is an exciting milestone on the journey towards a doctoral degree and we would like to congratulate these students on this achievement!

GSBS Candidacy Ceremony 2017 from UT Health San Antonio on Vimeo.

Bianca and Lauren Featured on KLRN

July 11, 2017

Bianca Cerqueira and Lauren Cornell company NovoThelium was featured on SciTech Now. Their company hopes to revolutionize nipple reconstruction using tissue engineering technology so that reconstructed nipples maintain projection, pigmentation, and sensation.

Bianca Cerqueira is a doctoral candidate in Biomedical Engineering at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio/University of Texas at San Antonio. She has a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from University of Maryland. Bianca began her career in science at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the Department of Casualty Research studying blood additive solutions. While in graduate school, she researched effects of chronic intermittent hypoxia (a model of sleep apnea) on transient cerebral ischemia in rodents utilizing multimodal MRI, behavioral tests, and histology. Cerqueira has many years of experience in cell culture, nucleic acid testing, medical imaging, small animal surgery, IACUC and IRB protocols, Good Laboratory Practice, project management, and experimental design with a focus on translational research.

Lauren Cornell is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Translational Science at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University Of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She has a Bachelor of Science in Genetics from Texas A&M University. Cornell began her career in science at the University of Oxford in the Zoology department studying the origin of mankind and later moved on to focus on tissue engineering in the areas of materials development, nanoparticles, and guided nerve growth. She is currently participating in a post-graduate fellowship at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research in the Department of Ocular Trauma where she is principal investigator on a corneal graft replacement research project. For the past five years, her research has focused on tissue engineering methods, with focus on stem cells, decellularization and sterilization methods of multiple tissue types, animal models and surgical techniques.

Graduation 2017

May 24, 2017

Live stream footage of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Liz Fisher: Women in STEM Leader & Stroke Researcher

May 24, 2017

Liz Fisher is a graduate student in the IBMS- Cell biology, genetics and molecular medicine (CGM) track/discipline and is mentored by Dr. James Lechleiter. She studies how astrocytes help protect the brain after a stroke. She is also passionate about being a role model for women in STEM. Learn more about her:

Liz spoke as the graduate school representative for UT Health San Antonio voices, an event which unites all the five schools on campus. To learn more about Voice at

UT Health Voices 2017

April 07, 2017

UT Health Voices 2017 featured speakers from each of the five schools at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Special thanks to our speakers:

- School of Medicine—Charlotte Collins

- School of Nursing—Derek Wallace

- School of Health Professions—Kevin Washington

- School of Dentistry—Chelsea Hope

- Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences---Liz Fisher


View More: UT Health Voices Draws Over 100 Students

Short Video: 

Full Video: 

Career Advisory Council member presents at TedX talk

February 01, 2017

Dr. Lindsay Bira is a Career Advisory Council member and Assistant Professor of Research at our Department of Psychiatry with STRONG STAR. She spoke about "The Counterintuitive life: WHY we do what we do and WHEN we should do the opposite" at the conference.

GSBS Alum Presents at TedX Talk

February 01, 2017

Dr. Block is co-founder of San Antonio Science, Inc. and an alumnus of the Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program. He spoke about "How would you spend a billion dollars" at the conference.

Uniting UT System Graduate Students

October 11, 2016

Leaders across UT System recently met to form the " Biomedical Graduate Student Network" to increase inter-institutional cooperation as well as to establish new mechanisms for biomedical sciences graduate students to collaborate and pursue joint initiatives.

The schools involved were UTHSC-Houston, UT-Southwestern, UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-Arlington, UTSA, UTMB, UT-RGV, and UTHSC-Tyler.

To kick-off their joint efforts, students from the entire UT-System came to this year’s Mikiten Graduate Research Symposium at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The forum organized by the Graduate Student Association promotes excellence in research through mentorship, collaboration, and student interaction.

This year's Mikiten featured poster sessions, career workshops, networking, three minute thesis (3MT) presentations, and multiple winners for cash prizes. There was also a Q& A Session with Co-Founder and CEO of Rackspace Graham and Director of The Rivard Report's Robert Rivard.

For more questions, please contact Milos Marinkovic at

Reducing Stress in Our Life

October 10, 2016

Dr. Lindsay Bira gives ten tips for how to reduce stress in our life. Dr. Bira is an active member of our Career Advisory Council where she mentors UT Health Science Center trainees. For the full article:

3 Minute Thesis: Ngoni Madungwe

September 30, 2016

Congratulations to Ngoni Madungwe! He won first place at the 3 Minute Thesis competition at the Mikiten Graduate Research Symposium. Ngoni is a biomedical engineering graduate student in Dr. Bopassa’s lab. Ngoni is working on cardiovascular disease research. See below to learn more about his research. 

A Look Inside The Radiation Oncology Machines

August 15, 2016

Ever wonder what the machines look like that deliver radiation to patients or what goes on before radiation is delivered to a patient? Check out this video from the therapy medical physics grad students to give you a small intro.

Video was made by Radiological Sciences: Medical Physics student Kristin Cline. 

Translational Science Ph.D. Program Video

June 24, 2016

Ahsan Choudary speaks about what drew him to the Translational Science Ph.D. program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

To learn more about the Translational Science Ph.D. program, visit

Radiological Sciences Ph.D. Program: Medical Physics Video

June 24, 2016

Jodie Gray, a student in the Radiological Sciences Ph.D. program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio speaks about why she became interested in the Medical Physics track.

To learn more about the Radiological Sciences Ph.D. program, visit

M.D./Ph.D. Program: Where Will Your Path Take You?

June 16, 2016

The M.D./Ph.D. Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antoniotrains physician-scientists and dentist-scientists to advance improvements in patient care through their research. The program was ranked 5th out of 113 programs nationwide that reported training M.D./Ph.D. students during the 2015-2016 academic year and 4th for highest percentage of students who received NIH F30 or F31 grants.

This dual degree program is a seven-to nine-year program, in which students complete two years in the School of Medicine, then embark full-time on their Ph.D. dissertation research for three to five years and then students will finish their final two years in the School of Medicine. For more information about the program, click here.

Graduation 2016

May 25, 2016

Live stream footage of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on Friday, May 20, 2015. For a copy of the graduation slides, click here

The Creativity of Science

May 17, 2016

Sharon Kwee is a concert violinist and a biomedical engineering student in the joint UTSA/UTHSCSA program.


May 16, 2016

A video from UTHSCSA Voices, a networking event featuring UT Health Science Center students from the School of DentistrySchool of NursingSchool of Health ProfessionsSchool of Medicine, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. See below for the video of GSBS students Jodie Gray and Ahsan Choudary talking about what led them to the Health Science Center. If you would like to see the full event coverage, click here

Extracting DNA Science Experiment

May 16, 2016

UT Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student Liz Fisher showing STEM students how to extract DNA from cheek cells.

A Future Scientist

May 16, 2016

UT Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences students Mariam Ishaque and Crystal Archer helping a future scientist with her lab coat.

Outstanding Students: Ambassador Scholars

April 27, 2016

President Henrich shares his confidence in our new Ambassador Scholars who will represent their school and the Health Science Center.

Outstanding Students: Ambassador Scholars from

Teaching the Art of Science Video

April 17, 2016

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is excited to announce the release of "Teaching the Art of Science," a new video featuring students, faculty, and community members describing their experiences at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. 

Thanks to Willie Heard III, Brigitta Glick, Dr. Daniel Lodge, Sharon Kwee, Travis Block, Milos Marinkovic, Gretchel Gealogo, Noberto Gonzalez-Juarbe for your time and special thanks to Dr. Benjamin Eaton, Dr. James Lechleiter, and Dr. Reto Asmis for allowing us to film in your labs. 

Finally, a super special thanks to Phillip James from Creative Media Services and Scott Waters from Web Initiatives for all your help!

World’s Largest Periodic Table of the Elements

March 16, 2016

Footage from our March 2nd science outreach event as a part of Science Fiesta 2016. Students from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health Science Center partnered with 118 K-12 schools in San Antonio and surrounding areas to put together this record breaking event. Each chemical element was illustrated on a 12 X 15 foot tarp to comprise the periodic table that spanned over 22,000 square feet in size! More information:

Alumna Sweta Mishra Interviewed by American Lung Association

November 24, 2015

A recent Ph.D. graduate of our Cellular and Structural Biology graduate program, Dr. Sweta Mishra and her mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Med School were recently interviewed by the American Lung Association (ALA).

Funded through the American Lung Association's Senior Research Training Fellowship, Dr. Mishra is studying how tumors differ at the molecular level. She focuses on the role of chromatin-modifying proteins.

Plan Your Career: San Antonio Science Symposium

October 29, 2015

The Science Communication and Outreach Career Symposium is a two-day symposium focused on how effective science communication is useful for a variety of scientific careers. STEM professionals from all career stages and locations are invited to attend. 

The second day of the Science Communication and Outreach Career Symposium focused on providing career development for attendees. Information was provided about different science careers and how science communication is a necessary component of each. 

"Making connections through networking events like this one and maintaining those relationships was reiterated throughout the symposium as being one of the most proactive ways to begin your career search," said Allison Doyle, graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology. "I would definitely recommend this symposium to any graduate student or postdoc interested in exploring career options."

 To learn more:

Communicate Science: San Antonio Science Symposium

October 02, 2015

Over 170 individuals attended the first annual Science Communication and Outreach Career Symposium at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Attendees included undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from across San Antonio and the nation.

The focus of the first day’s events, held at the Blue Star Brewery, was science outreach. These sessions provided professional development opportunities for attendees as they learned from scientists who are actively engaged in science outreach. 

"This symposium helped solidify for me that not only is it important to engage in research you are passionate about, but that you must be able to convey that research to scientific and non-scientific audiences alike," said Mariam Ishaque, a graduate student in the M.D./ Ph.D. program. "In practicing for the poster presentation, I identified the most salient aspects of my research and developed an effective way of community it." 

To learn more:

Teaching Science To The Public

October 01, 2015

Graduate Student Veronica Obregon-Perko speaking to students at a science outreach event.

What Graduate Students Say

July 13, 2015

A comedic video made by alum David Medina at the South Texas Research Facility about the struggles of a Ph.D. student. While at UT Health Science Center, David was in the Pharmacology program in the lab of Dr. Salvatore Oddo. 

David was involved in investigating the underlying pathways of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTLD). He used in vitro and in vivo approaches to determine how mutations in Progranulin, a major cause of FTLD, may be impacting protein degradation. His work was among the first to describe pathological pathways involved in FTLD.

San Antonio Career Advisory Council: Knowledge, Networking, Mentoring

June 23, 2015

The Career Advisory Council is comprised of leaders in the biomedical science community of San Antonio. The council members are a resource of insights and expertise for UT Health Science Center at San Antonio trainees.

To learn more about the Career Advisory Council or to read bios about current council members, click here

The Career Advisory Council is a program of the Office of Career Development through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Why I chose UT Health Science Center: Nursing Science Ph.D.

June 10, 2015

Gretchel Gealogo, a recent graduate of the Nursing Science Ph.D. at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, explains why she decided to go to nursing school.

"I had interacted with enough health care professionals in both the Austin and San Antonio area to recognize that San Antonio was a great place for getting good clinical experience and good clinical practice," Gealogo said. 

Read more about Gretchel and the Nursing Science Ph.D. program here

Graduate Students Win Third Place at Tug of War

June 08, 2015

Graduate students joined together at the inaugural Allied Health Games for friendly competitive games, organized by the School of Health Professions. The games brought together different institutions including students from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), along with different schools around campus.

“It was nice being able to interact with other students that are not directly in the graduate school and be able to socialize with other people,” said Angie Salinas, a graduate student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) program.

Aaron Marks Horning, a graduate student in the Cellular and Structural Biology program, explained that one of the reasons that the graduate school team won third place at tug of war was because of our strategy.

”We had the right rhythm. We executed the pulling-on-rhythm strategy and the other school couldn't compete,” Horning said.

To read the full article, click here

GSBS Commencement Class of 2015

May 18, 2015

Live stream footage of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on Friday, May 15, 2015. Commencement Speaker: Dr. Bettie Sue Masters.

Commencement Video

May 14, 2015

The annual Spring Graduation ceremony is an important event for the Graduate School. Below is a preview of the slideshow for Friday's commencement ceremony. 

The Ear Song

May 11, 2015

Nancy Satsangi, a medical student at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio made a video to help anatomy students learn about the ear in a fun way. Special thanks to anatomy faculty in the Department of Cellular and Structural BiologyDr. Linda JohnsonDr. Omid RahimiDr. Maria BartanuszovaDr. Annette OcchialiniDr. Charleen MooreDr. Fred RichardsDr. Alan Sakaguchi who are also featured in the video!

Dr. Teresa Evans: How the Career Advisory Council Formed

April 16, 2015

Dr. Teresa Evans, director of the Office of Career Development in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, discusses how the Career Advisory Council was formed. To learn more about the Career Advisory Council, visit

Firsthand Knowledge To Careers

April 15, 2015

Dr. Teresa Evans, director of the Office of Career Development in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, discusses the ways in which the Career Advisory Council provides students with firsthand knowledge to careers along with networking and mentoring opportunities. To learn more about the Career Advisory Council, visit

CEO Brigitta Glick: Career Advisory Council

April 08, 2015

Brigitta Glick, CEO of Provenir, speaks about the importance of the Career Advisory Council, founded by the Office of Career Development.

A new video highlighting the work of the council will be coming soon. In the meantime, learn more about the innovative work that Dr. Teresa Evans is doing to provide comprehensive career and professional development programming to graduate trainees at the University of Texas Heath Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA). 

How I Became Interested in Research: Nursing Science Ph.D.

February 04, 2015

Gretchel Gealogo, a recent graduate of the Nursing Science Ph.D. at UT Health Science Center, explains how she became interested in research. 

"When I came to nursing school, I realized that there is an incredible opportunity to harness research for improving the quality of life of people in a way that I hadn't necessarily seen in my liberal arts degrees," Gealogo said. 

To read an article about how the "Nursing Science Ph.D. Helps Fill Demand for Nurses With Doctorate Degrees," please click here.