Geographic Diversity Advisory Committee

The Geographic Diversity Advisory Committee (GDAC) advises the Oversight Committee and staff on universities’ special needs and challenges in developing cancer research capacity in locations far away from the cancer research centers in the major metropolitan areas. The members represent universities that are located 100 miles or more from a National Cancer Institute Designated Center in Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio.


Sarah Williams-Blangero, Ph.D., Chair
HEB Distinguished Chair in Diabetes and Genomics
Chair, Department of Human Genetics
Director, South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute
School of Medicine
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Min Kang, Pharm.D., Vice-Chair
Interim Senior Vice President for Research and Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Scholl of Medicine Cancer Center
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Joseph “Joe” Heppert, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Texas Tech University

Dr. Rob Kirken
Dean of Science & Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy
Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Kenneth S. Ramos, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine
Alkek Chair of Medical Genetics
Executive Director, Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology
Associate Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Services, The Texas A&M University System

Daniel Romo, Ph.D.
Schotts Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Baylor University