The Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute and the faculty have created a specialized cancer and research center that focuses on advancing scientific knowledge relevant to childhood cancer and accelerating that knowledge into innovative cures for all ages.


Dr. Aune

Gregory J. Aune, MD, PhD

Our overall goal is to use preclinical laboratory models to elucidate the basic mechanisms of organ damage caused by pediatric cancer treatments.

Dr. Bishop

Alexander J.R. Bishop, DPhil

The interest of our lab is to identify and understand mechanisms of damage survival. People who inherit a deficiency in damage response are predisposed to develop cancer, usually as children or young adolescents. Further, most cancer treatments are based on damaging cancer cells, so understanding why a chemotherapy works, and for which patients, should lead to more effective and less toxic treatments that will increase the cure rate and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.

Dr. Chen

Yidong Chen, PhD

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBBI) focuses on developing computational solution and statistical modeling to bridge between quatitative science and the basic biology and translational research within Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute and around UT Health San Antonio.

Dr. Hougthon

Peter Houghton, PhD

Our studies are aimed at understanding mechanisms of cancer initiation in children and using this information to develop more effective and less toxic treatments that will increase the cure rate and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.


Myron Ignatius, PhD

Discover novel treatments in relapsed pediatric cancer by defining tumor heterogeneity and its effect on self-renewal and metastasis.

Dr. Kitagawa

Katsumi Kitagawa, PharmD, PhD

Our research goal is to understand the role of aneuploidy (chromosome loss or gain) in childhood cancer development. We are currently investigating the mechanism of CIN (chromosome instability) in pediatric tumors.

Dr. Kurmasheva

Raushan Kurmasheva, PhD

Our research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of resistance of Ewing sarcoma cells to PARP1 inhibition with the ultimate goal of developing more effective and less toxic therapy for Ewing sarcoma patients. Another project in which the lab is involved identifies novel drugs and drug combinations to treat pediatric sarcoma and renal tumors. This project is a part of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium (PPTC) that has been recently funded by NCI.

Dr. Lai

Zhao Lai, PhD

Dr. Zhao Lai is Director of Genome Sequencing Facility (GSF) in the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (GCCRI) at UT Health San Antonio. The GSF utilizes state-of-the-art genomic platforms to generate high-quality genomic data and provides support with its analysis to scientists of GCCRI, CTRC, UTHSCSA and surrounding San Antonio areas.

Dr. Penalva

Luiz O. F. Penalva, PhD

My laboratory studies post-transcriptional regulation from a global perspective. We use a combination of genomics, systems biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and molecular biology to investigate the networks formed by RNA binding proteins, miRNAs and their target genes and evaluate their impact on biological processes, cancer and disease states.

Dr. Pertsemlidis

Alexander Pertsemlidis, PhD

Our research interests integrate computational biology, cancer biology and genetics. We study regulatory RNA molecules called non-coding RNAs (called that because they do not code for proteins), including microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and how they regulate cancer cell growth and response to anti-cancer drugs.

Dr. Rao

Manjeet K. Rao, PhD

Research in my laboratory is directed towards developing new, more efficacious and less toxic treatments for childhood cancers.

Dr. Shiio

Yuzuru Shiio, MD, PhD

Employing a combination of proteomics and molecular cell biology approaches, we study the cytokines secreted from senescent cells and children’s cancers and the oncoproteins driving children’s cancers.

Dr. Tomlinson

Gail Tomlinson, MD, PhD

Our studies are aimed at understanding the underlying genetic basis of pediatric cancers with the goal of applying genetic knowledge to cancer prevention and control.