News and Events

Team identifies new function of genes linked to Fanconi anemia and certain types of cancer

May 2, 2016 – Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center haveidentified an important new function of genes in the Fanconi anemia pathway– a finding that could have implications for development of new therapies to treat this disorder and some cancers.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is an incurable blood disorder affecting about 1 in every 130,000 people caused by mutations in any of 19 FA genes. Mutations in FA genes can lead to birth defects, cognitive impairment, bone marrow failure-related blood disorders, cancers that include pediatric leukemia, premature aging, and other abnormalities.

FA pathway genetic mutations also can be found in cancers of patients without the disorder, said study first author Dr. Rhea Sumpter, an Instructor in Internal Medicine at the Center for Autophagy Research at UT Southwestern. These include mutations in the FANCS (also called BRCA1) and FANCD1 (also called BRCA2) genes, which greatly increase the risk of developing familial breast and ovarian cancers, regardless of whether the person has FA.

Study links deficiency of cellular housekeeping gene with aggressive forms of breast cancer

Jan. 30, 2015 – UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a strong link between the most aggressive type of breast cancer and a gene that regulates the body’s natural cellular recycling process, called autophagy.

Levine receives 2014 Korsmeyer Award

Jan. 22, 2014 – Beth Levine, M.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Director of the Center for Autophagy Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has received the 2014 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). The award recognizes Dr. Levine’s fundamental contributions to the understanding of autophagy – literally, “self-eating” – a housecleaning process in which cells destroy damaged proteins and organelles.

Interference with cellular recycling leads to cancer growth, chemotherapy resistance

Sept. 18, 2013 – Overactivity of a protein that normally cues cells to divide sabotages the body’s natural cellular recycling process, leading to heightened cancer growth and chemotherapy resistance, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Levine elected to National Academy of Sciences

April 30, 2013 – The National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of Beth Levine, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at UT Southwestern Medical Center, to membership, representing one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist.