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Alumna, Natural Sciences & Mathematics Faculty Receives Joint Appointment at UHCOP

August 16 — Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe, Ph.D. ('04), University of Houston College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics (NSM) associate professor of biology and biochemistry and UH College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) alumna, has received a joint appointment as associate professor of pharmacology at UHCOP.


Bawa-Khalfe is a member of NSM’s Center for Nuclear Receptors & Cell Signaling. Her primary research focus is studying how cancer cells exploit select post-translational modification (PTM) systems to drive cancer progression. Specifically, her lab is working to restore the cellular proteome with the discovery/design of drugs that target the ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like posttranslational modification (PTM) systems.

Bawa-Khalfe has authored or coauthored nearly 30 papers and abstracts published in such peer-reviewed journals as the British Journal of Pharmacology, Cancer Research, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Nature MedicineProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Scientific Reports. In addition, she has coauthored two book chapters and two invited reviews.

Bawa-Khalfe’s research is supported by a five-year, $1.8 million R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute as well as a mentored training grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and a UH Drug Discovery Institute Innovative Team Science Seed Grant.

During her career, she has mentored or currently mentors nine Ph.D. students and a master’s degree student, three postdoctoral researchers, and two visiting scholars. Bawa-Khalfe also has mentored several undergraduate students, who have been the recipients of research awards from Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).

She was recognized as a "50-in-5 Scholar" by UH in 2021 and the recipient of NSM’s Faculty Achievement Award in 2022. Currently serving on the UH Faculty Senate’s Graduate & Professional Studies Committee, Bawa-Khalfe also has served on multiple NCI/National Institutes of Health study sections and more than 25 dissertation committees.