Marenda A. Wilson-PhamI earned my BS in Biology at Dillard University in 2002 and my PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at The MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) in 2007 in the laboratory of Dr. Ambro vanHoof. My thesis research was focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of nonstop mRNA metabolism.

Following my doctoral research, I accepted my first postdoctoral fellowship in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at The UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in the laboratory of Dr. Sharon Y.R. Dent. There, my research was focused on understanding how histone modifying complexes regulate gene expression. My second postdoctoral fellowship in the Molecular and Human Genetics Department at Baylor College of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Grzegorz Ira was focused on the role of DNA double-strand breaks and repair in the maintenance of genome stability.

I joined the GSBS Deans’ Office in 2013 to assist in improving the recruitment and retention rates of underrepresented minority students. I am involved in yearly recruitment activities through attendance of conferences and institutions that serve large populations of minority students. My efforts in retention have been focused on providing educational and community support to currently enrolled minority students at the GSBS through monthly lunch-and-learn seminars, workshops and mentorship support. Additionally, I oversee and provide support to all student organizations and alumni networking initiatives of the graduate school. As an alumna of the graduate school, my experiences at the GSBS and postdoctoral fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center have allowed me to provide students at the GSBS with guidance and assistance throughout their graduate education.