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Lawrence c. Sowers, PhDIt is my distinct pleasure to announce the appointment of Lawrence C. Sowers, PhD as chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and member of the UTMB Center in Environmental Toxicology.

Dr. Sowers earned his PhD degree in physical biochemistry from Duke University in 1983.  He continued his training as a research fellow in the Department of Medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.  He completed fellowships in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, where he also served as a research associate in the Molecular Biology Division. He began his professional career at the City of Hope National Medical Center, Division of Pediatrics, Duarte, California in 1988, and during his tenure served as section head of biophysics, and director of the NMR facility. He also served as associate chairman of the Division of Molecular Medicine, Beckman Research Institute and director of the program in DNA damage and repair at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the City of Hope. Dr. Sowers comes to UTMB from the Loma Linda School of Medicine, where he has served as professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, associate dean for Basic Science and chairman of the Department of Basic Science. His teaching responsibilities have included directing the MD/PhD program at Loma Linda University for over five years, and lecturing to medical students and graduate students on a wide variety of subjects. A highly productive and successful investigator in cancer research, Dr. Sowers is currently the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants and has served on several NIH study sections.

Dr. Sowers' research is concerned with epigenetic control of gene expression through aberrant DNA methylation patterns and its impact on tumor biology. Specifically, the work examines the effect of immune-modulated inflammatory responses generating oxidative damage products altering the methylation profile at key cytosine residues affecting protein-DNA interactions regulating gene expression. These studies complement the existing emphasis on ROS toxicology by many UTMB Center in Environmental Toxicology investigators, as well as the emerging focus on exposure and effect biomarkers in the Center.

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