Her lifetime of thanks
Michelle Barton, Ph.D., has seen the pain and suffering cancer can inflict on loved ones. Having lost several family members to the disease, she dedicates her life to finding cures.
Dean of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Barton cherishes the unique opportunities in research and education MD Anderson provides.
She says, "Working somewhere that has research intermingled with patient care is so inspiring for the basic scientist. We can actually see why we spent those endless hours in the lab."A personal journey
An early stage melanoma survivor, she turned to MD Anderson during her own journey with cancer 18 years ago.
"I have been a patient here and I've seen it from both sides," says Barton. "I was very lucky." She speaks highly of the unique care at MD Anderson, especially how quickly patients receive test results, the team approach and how nice everybody is.
Over the years, both as a donor and as a scientist leading her own laboratory focused on epigenetics and molecular carcinogenesis, she has faithfully supported research at MD Anderson.A passion for giving
Barton has always wanted to give to the graduate school to provide funds for scholarships and fellowships. Now, she's putting her money where her heart is. She has bequeathed 50 percent of her estate to benefit education initiatives at the school. As a charitable contribution, her estate gift will be fully tax deductible.
To her, the graduate school's staff and students are like family. And her legacy of support is a meaningful way for her to make an even more significant difference in preparing future oncologists for careers in research and care.
Thanks to generous donors, the graduate school annually offers almost 100 scholarships and fellowships - based on academic and scientific accomplishments - to students from all backgrounds, including international applicants. The financial assistance not only helps students, it also enables the school to attract gifted candidates.