Basic Research

Joan W. Conaway, Ph.D.

Vice Provost, Dean of Basic Research, and Professor of Molecular Biology

Dr. Joan Conaway

Holder of the:

  • Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Joan W. Conaway, Ph.D., a distinguished biomedical researcher, has been Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research since July 2021, providing strategic leadership for UT Southwestern’s state of the art basic biomedical research and guiding the expansion and coordination of resources that support investigations at the forefront of innovation.

Dr. Conaway was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2020 and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2002. Her research lab studies molecular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of RNA polymerase II transcription, a process that, when disrupted, can lead to cancer and other diseases.

Before joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Conaway was an investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., and an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She also has been an associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

She received her undergraduate education from Bryn Mawr College, majoring in Chemistry and in Biology with honors from Haverford College. She earned her doctorate in Cell Biology from Stanford University School of Medicine, and completed post-graduate training as a research fellow at the DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Palo Alto, Calif.

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.

Elliott Ross, Ph.D.

  • Associate Dean, Basic Research