Adriana Visbal, PhD

Faculty Panel

Job Title: Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology

Current Employer: University of Houston-Downtown


  • REACH-IRACDA Post-doctoral fellowship, Dan. L. Duncan Cancer Center- Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (2011-2014)

  • Ph.D. in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (2010)

  • B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2004)


I received my Ph. D. in Developmental Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. My dissertation research worked focused on the role of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in mammary gland development utilizing genetic gain-and loss-of function mouse models. I then moved to an NIH-funded REACH-IRACDA post-doctoral fellowship in the Dan. L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. This fellowship combined research with a teaching internship, which I did at The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). My post-doctoral research work focused on the mechanisms of progesterone receptor signaling in early breast cancer development as well as metastatic breast cancer progression. I started as a lecturer at UHD in 2014 where I taught and developed new courses and obtained considerable experience in curriculum design, assessment, and innovative pedagogy. In 2018 I accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Natural Sciences at UHD. My current research focuses on the mechanisms of mammary gland development, the development of breast cancer, and the role of immunosuppression in breast cancer progression. I teach several courses including cancer biology, developmental biology, and histology, and am also active in initiatives focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity work across the Department and College.

Most useful skill sets acquired from/for your field:

  1. Ability to work-on and manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously

  2. Ability to work cooperatively with others as part of a team

  3. Ability to think creatively (“out of the box”).

What I love most about my job:

I enjoy being involved in teaching the next generation of scientists and love mentoring undergraduate research students. I am passionate about all the courses I teach at UHD and am dedicated to making science education more inclusive.

Contact information:




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