Faculty

Philip J. Horner, PhD

Philip Horner received his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1995, followed by postdoctoral training with Fred H. Gage, PhD, Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, Salk Institute, and a subsequent staff scientist position in the Lab of Genetics at the Salk Institute in 1998. In 2001, Horner joined the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he directed a laboratory at the University of Washington South Lake Union Campus and was a member of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. In 2015, Horner became the scientific director of the Center for Neuroregeneration and co-director of the Center for Regenerative and Restorative Neurosurgery at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. He also holds a faculty position at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York. Horner’s research laboratory focuses on the interaction between glial and neural cells following central nervous system challenge and aging; specifically: 1) mechanisms of adult stem cell‐derived lesion remodeling/repair, and 2) the role of gliogenesis and gliosis in neural degeneration and aging.

Horner has a long-standing passion and commitment to graduate and postgraduate training. He has proven expertise in training graduate, postdoctoral, and clinical fellows in the basic biology of neural stem cells and plasticity to whole animal systems of disease modeling and preclinical translation. Many of his former students currently hold faculty positions or remain in research positions in private or public research institutions. He strongly supports the development of innovative training structures that drive collaborative research. For example, he co-founded Route28 Summits in Neurobiology which is a one-week intensive problem-solving workshop for trainees and early stage faculty (www.route28.org). Horner spearheaded the development of the NeuralCODR program. He also founded and directs the graduate-level Neural Control of Organ Degeneration and Regeneration course that is team taught annually in support of NeuralCODR.

Mary C. “Cindy” Farach-Carson, PhD

Cindy Farach-Carson earned her PhD in biochemistry from the Medical College of Virginia in 1982. Shortly after, she received postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University (1983) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (1986). For the next 11 years, Farach-Carson served as a faculty member of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry. Then, in 1998, she traveled north to the University of Delaware where she was appointed an associate, and eventually full, professor. In 2005, she also served as the founding director of the Center for Translational Cancer Research, bringing together four institutions and hospitals with a focus on accelerating translation of cancer research findings to the clinic. In 2009, Farach-Carson returned to Texas. As a professor of biochemistry & cell biology at Rice University, she provided scientific leadership and vision for the BioScience Research Collaborative and helped foster a climate of interdisciplinary and translational research and innovation. In 2014, Farach-Carson became a strategic advisor for the Texas Medical Center, and in 2016, she rejoined the UTHealth School of Dentistry faculty as director of clinical and translational research and professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences.

Cindy Farach-Carson’s laboratory explores bioengineering and organ modeling with a focus on the innervated salivary system. She has a long-standing history of leading development efforts within the Texas Medical Center and as the co-director of the Gulf Coast Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, she will cultivate educational opportunities for NeuralCODR trainees. In 2016, Farach-Carson received the Presidential Mentoring Award from Rice University, reflecting the contributions of her many trainees throughout the years who have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, biotech, scientific writing, medicine, dentistry, and research funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health , private research foundations, and regulatory agencies including the United States Food and Drug Administration . Through her leadership roles, Farach-Carson seeks to strengthen NeuralCODR training opportunities and to increase the number of women and underrepresented groups in training cohorts.
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