Department of Pharmacology assistant professor and researcher receives UT System Rising STARs award

Xiaoli Sun, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has received a UT System Rising STARs award. The award for early-career investigators comes with a $250,000 grant.

Xiaoli Sun, MD, PhD

Dr. Sun received her medical and PhD degrees from Peking University Health Science Center in 2015 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California – San Diego before joining UT Health San Antonio in 2021.

Collaborating with research colleagues from the Long School of Medicine, the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson, and the UT Health San Antonio Transplant Center, Dr. Sun’s lab studies chronic diseases, including metabolic dysfunction, atherosclerosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases and liver cancer, with the ultimate goal of developing early screening and therapies for these diseases. 

“The support from the UT System’s Rising STARs award will provide strong funding to build a cutting-edge research platform where we can combine antibody discovery, animal models and multi-omics approaches to better understand liver disease pathophysiology and develop tools for early diagnosis and novel therapies for liver cancer,” Dr. Sun said. “This research platform includes essential equipment for the most up-to-date antibody screening, disease phenotyping and mechanistic studies at the cellular and molecular levels. I am very thankful for the support from this award and hope our lab’s research contributes to future liver cancer cures.”

The UT System Board of Regents authorized the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program in 2004. Multiple types of STARs award support enhancement of UT institutions across the state of Texas.



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