Maria Elena Cuevas

Professor of Biology and Chair of the Pre-Med Advisory Committee Maria Cuevas was the recipient of the inaugural Advisor of the Year Award conferred by the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (TAAHP). The award was created to recognize a TAAHP member who has exhibited excellence in health professions advising over the past year. Cuevas added significant resources for students in her first two years as Southwestern’s chief faculty pre-health advisor and chair of the Pre-Med Committee, including a robust pre-health website, a physical home for pre-health students in the new science building, and an enhanced process for committee recommendation letters.

—February 2020

Professors of Biology Maria Cuevas and Maria Todd received a $12,000 grant from the Joe and Jessie Crump Foundation for Medical Research. The funds will support their current research project titled “Simultaneous Analysis of 84 Tight Junction Genes Involved in Uterine Cancer Progression.” This grant will enable them to expand the scope of their studies and increase the clinical relevance of their research endeavors.

—October 2018

Eight faculty members in the natural sciences published a letter to the editor in the Williamson County Sunin the July 29th edition. “SU Scientists Refute ‘Hoax’ Climate Claim” was in reference to the Sun’s July 22 account of a community forum on the science of climate change. The letter was written by Professor of Biology Max Taub and co-signed by Professor of Chemistry Kerry Bruns, Professor of Biology Romi Burks, Professor of Biology Maria Cuevas, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mike Gesinski, Associate Professor of Biology Martín Gonzalez, Professor of Kinesiology Scott McLean, and Professor of Biology Ben Pierce.

—July 2018

Retired Associate Professor Rebecca Sheller and Professors of Biology Maria Cuevas and Maria Todd published an article in Biological Proceedings Online titled “Comparison of transepithelial resistance measurement techniques: Chopsticks vs. Endohm.” Measurement of transepithelial resistance (TER) is frequently used to determine the strength of tight junctions between epithelial cells in culture. However, the use of different technical approaches to measure TER sometimes results in inconsistent reports for TER readings within the same cell lines. To address this discrepancy, they compared two frequently used approaches (Chopsticks and Endhohm) and two types of polymer inserts (polycarbonate vs. polyester) to measure the TER values of three mammalian cell lines. Their study demonstrated the importance of using a single approach when seeking to measure and compare the TER values of cultured cell lines.

—May 2017

Professors of Biology Maria Todd and Maria Cuevas received a $15,000 grant from the Joe and Jessie Crump Foundation for Medical Research. The funds will support their research aimed at elucidating the role of tight junction destabilization in the development and progression of endometrial cancer. This project will offer research opportunities for undergraduate students majoring in Biology.

—November 2016