Geneticist Andrew Zinn to lead Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

DALLAS – Aug. 1, 2013 – Geneticist Dr. Andrew R. Zinn, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, has been named the eighth dean of UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, effective August 1.

Dr. Andrew R. Zinn, new dean of UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Andrew R. Zinn, new dean of UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

“Dr. Zinn brings years of experience in discovery research, graduate and medical education, and administration to this position,” said Dr. David W. Russell, vice provost and dean of basic research, and professor of molecular genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The graduate school, ranked in the top 20 programs in the nation for biological research, has nearly 650 students enrolled in one of more than a dozen programs leading to doctor of philosophy, master of science, or combined doctor of medicine-doctor of philosophy degrees for biomedical scientists, counselors, engineers, and communicators. The school also includes postdoctoral training.

“I look forward to this opportunity to provide leadership at the school, which offers a proud tradition of training some of the world’s top leaders in biomedical research,” said Dr. Zinn, a UT Southwestern alumnus. “We plan to develop novel initiatives in graduate education that include the use of online learning, while continuing to recruit top-notch students, develop an office of career development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and work towards increasing contacts with our esteemed alumni.”

Dr. Zinn will continue to direct the Medical Scientist Training Program, which annually enrolls about 10 outstanding M.D./Ph.D. dual-degree students from around the world who have substantive experience in laboratory investigations and a strong desire to pursue a research career related to medicine.

Dr. Zinn graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors from the Plan II honors program at UT Austin, and began his research career there working in protein synthesis before earning his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from UT Southwestern. He was inducted to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society as a medical school student, and also received the 1988 Nominata Award, the highest honor bestowed on a student by the graduate school.

He completed internships and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and postdoctoral training in human and mouse genetics as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He returned to UT Southwestern in 1993 as an independent postdoctoral fellow in the Program for Excellence in Postgraduate Research and joined the faculty in 1996, earning an international reputation as a human geneticist. He and his laboratory colleagues made important contributions to our understanding of human sex chromosome disorders, discovered the genetic basis of the most common form of inherited obesity (mutations in the SIM1 gene), and most recently identified a novel cause of a rare skin and immunodeficiency disorder.

The graduate school trains future scientists to investigate basic life processes from the molecular level to the whole animal and allows them to pursue majors in the laboratories of some of the world's most distinguished researchers. The goal of the graduate school is to provide students with a foundation for successful careers as leaders in biomedical research and education. Its alumni can be found at top research institutions throughout the world. The graduate school was established in 1972 when UT Southwestern was reorganized as a medical center with three components, the medical school, graduate school and health professions school. It has since awarded about 2,700 degrees.

The graduate school offers 11 doctoral programs including biological chemistry, cancer biology, cell regulation, genetics and development, immunology, integrative biology, molecular biophysics, molecular microbiology, and neuroscience in the basic sciences, and doctorates in clinical psychology and biomedical engineering, a joint program with UT Arlington and UT Dallas.

In addition, a master’s degree is offered in clinical science. The graduate school also offers non-degree educational programs including the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Quantitative and Physical Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, UT Dallas Green Fellows, Undergraduate Medical Research Fellows, and the Science Teachers Access to Research at UT Southwestern.

The school features 20 core facilities available for research on the UT Southwestern campus, which utilize state-of-the-art equipment and provide the support services necessary to help scientists effectively and efficiently conduct their research.

UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is ranked in the top 20 programs in the nation for biological research in 2011, the most recent year evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It also ranked ninth for immunology, 10th for genetics & development/cancer biology, and 11th for biological chemistry/molecular biophysics. UT Southwestern is ranked in the top 25 institutions by The Scientist's 2013 Best Places to Work Postdocs survey due to recognition of postdoctoral researchers as valued members of the scientific community.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has many distinguished members, including five who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,700, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 90,000 hospitalized patients and oversee more than 1.9 million outpatient visits a year.


Media Contact: Russell Rian

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