Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


Three GSBS Faculty Receive Emeritus Appointment

In recognition of their sustained and outstanding performance and significant contributions as educators, scholars, and leaders, we are excited to share that three Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences faculty have received the distinguished honor of becoming emeritus appointees.

The Emeritus award at HSC is to recognize faculty members, who continue to contribute to the HSC after their retirement from full-time faculty employment, honoring their lifetime of service and commitment to the mission, vision and values of HSC.

The new emeritus appointees are:

Patricia Gwirtz, PhD, FACC, FAHA

Gwirtz Color Web

Thomas Yorio, PhD

Reception Honoring Dr. Tom Yorio Dr Dillon Dr Singh Dr Williams

Andras Lacko, PhD

Andras Lacko Web

December Spotlight: Dean’s Research Fellowship Incentive Awardees

The ability to write a successful grant proposal is a critical skill for success in many careers — it demonstrates logical thinking, clear writing, and an understanding of the research field. Receiving a nationally funded fellowship provides external evidence that a student has successfully acquired these skills.

GSBS has established an incentive plan designed to encourage submission of applications from students enrolled in disciplines in which individual fellowships are available. The Graduate School has also created the Dean’s Fellowship Incentive Award of $1,000 for those students whose fellowship grants are funded.

Congratulations to Jessica Proulx, Alexa Kelly and Graci Finco!  Learn more about their work.

For more information about this program, contact Dr. Paula Gregory, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research Development, via email:

Dr. Maddineni is Awarded the First NIH K99/R00 at HSC

Prabhavathi Maddineni, PhD is a post doctoral fellow in Dr. Gulab Zode’s lab in the North Texas Eye Research Institute.  Prabha just learned that her K99/R00 application to the NIH National Eye Institute will be funded; the K99/R00 is a mentored career development award. This is the first K99 ever funded at HSC.  Her grant is titled “The role of impaired mitophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction in glaucomatous neurodegeneration”, it will fund her last two years as a post doc (K99) and her first three years as a faculty member (R00).

August Spotlight: Dr. Ella Anle Kasanga

In the United States, about one million people are living with Parkinson’s disease, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. The disease is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and is usually diagnosed with the presence of cardinal motor signs and symptoms. Tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness of the arms, legs or trunk, and postural imbalance are the main motor symptoms that need to be present in order to make a diagnosis. There is no cure for the disease and the reason for its development remains unknown.

Across the country, researchers are working around the clock to identify ways to help those living with the disease. Joining this effort is Dr. Ella Anle Kasanga, a visiting researcher who recently graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Dr. Kasanga is a recipient of the Parkinson’s Foundation Visiting Scholar Award which offers graduate students and postdoctoral fellows the chance to expand their skill set to support their Parkinson’s disease research. As part of the scholarship, Dr. Kasanga is visiting the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Richardson, Associate Dean for Research.

Learn more about her work in the Q&A.

Celebrating GSBS Faculty 2020:  Tenure and Promotion

We wish to congratulate our GSBS faculty, who were promoted or tenured this year.  The promotion and tenure process is rigorous and is designed to recognize faculty members who exemplify a commitment to academic excellence.  This year two faculty members, Dr. Styliani Goulopoulou and Dr. Robert Barber, have been promoted or granted tenure.

We are fortunate to have these two outstanding individuals among all our extraordinary GSBS faculty who represent our HSC values in educating and mentoring our students, conducting cutting-edge research, and personifying our commitment to service.  2020 was a particularly challenging year for GSBS, our HSC community, and our world, making their accomplishment even more inspiring.

J. Michael Mathis, Ph.D.
Dean, GSBS

Styliani (Stella) Goulopoulou, FAHA, Ph.D.

Dr. Goulopoulou joined the department of Physiology and Anatomy at UNTHSC in August 2014 Stella Goulopoulou
as a tenure-track assistant professor. At HSC, Dr. Goulopoulou has established an independent research program with an emphasis on the physiology of perinatal and postpartum maternal vascular function. The main objectives of the Goulopoulou research program are to a) Delineate mechanisms of maternal vascular function in healthy pregnancies and in pregnancies with preeclampsia, b) Define mechanisms by which reproductive history and pregnancy complications re-program maternal vascular health and determine future maternal cardiovascular risk. Dr. Goulopoulou’s long-term goal is to establish an evidence-based framework that defines the role of pregnancy physiology in maternal vascular health and disease. To address relevant research questions, the Goulopoulou lab uses a multi-method multi-model quantitative approach with experimental models spanning from cells and isolated tissues to animal models of healthy pregnancy and pregnancies with placental ischemia. The Goulopoulou lab has been funded by the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, and institutional seed grants. In addition to her commitment to research, Dr. Goulopoulou is committed to graduate education through her teaching and mentoring of junior scientists, and she is also involved in various service activities at HSC and at national professional organizations.

Robert Barber, Ph.D.

Dr. Barber’s laboratory is focused on identifying genetic and epigenetic risk factors for neurodegeneration. Robert BarberResearch is collaborative and translational in nature. Ongoing projects include efforts to use patterns of DNA variation and differential methylation to predict the risk and progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Barber is also interested in the biology of Alzheimer’s among Mexican Americans and how disease etiology may differ between this underrepresented ethnic group and Caucasians. A second area of research interest is how individual gut bacteria profiles may impact risk for neurodegeneration and the age at onset of cognitive decline.  Collaborations are established with researchers at UNTHSC and other Texas institutions, as well as West Virginia University. Active projects are ongoing with Drs. O’Bryant, Allen, Planz, Cross, Hall, and Cunningham at UNTHSC; Chumley and Boehm at Texas Christian University; Royall and Palmer at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Wilhelmsen at West Virginia University School of Medicine.