Dessauer named chair of IBP

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

Dr. Carmen Dessauer - Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
Carmen Dessauer, PhD

Following an international search, Executive Dean John Hancock has announced that Carmen W. Dessauer, PhD, is the new chair of the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, effective March 18, 2024.

Dessauer currently serves as professor of integrative biology and pharmacology and is a member of the faculty at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She also serves as the program director for the Training Interdisciplinary Pharmacology Scientists (TIPS).

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Dessauer received her doctorate of philosophy in biochemistry from LSU in 1993. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship work under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Alfred Gilman, MD, PhD, at UT Southwestern Medical School in 1998.

She has been a member of the faculty at McGovern Medical School for nearly 30 years and has served as chair ad interim of the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology since 2022.

Dessauer’s research has identified novel scaffolding proteins that define the subcellular organization of cyclic nucleotide signaling pathways. Her work has been instrumental in highlighting the concept of scaffolding of AC enzymes to drive cAMP compartmentalization and physiological function in biomedical research.

Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2000, and she also has received funding from the Mathers Foundation, American Heart Association, Craig Neilsen Foundation, and others.

Dessauer is the recipient of the 2022 Paul Darlington Mentoring Award and is the winner of the McGovern Medical School Women Faculty Forum’s Excellence in Basic Science Award. Additionally, she was named a Fellow of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) in 2022.

She has served on the advisory council for the National Institute of General Medicine and chaired several National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections, as well as the molecular pharmacology division of ASPET.

“Dr. Dessauer is an outstanding faculty member of McGovern Medical School and has been an excellent ad interim chair for IBP,” Hancock said. “I am sincerely looking forward to working with her as she implements her vision to grow the research and educational missions of the department.”