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Jihan Osborne, Ph. D.

  • Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Awardee
  • CPRIT First Time Faculty Award
Jihan Osborne, Ph.D.
“Hope is not a false sense of security, but the realistic anticipation of opportunity.”

Contributions to STEMM

Dr. Osborne is a scientist and educator. As a new faculty member, she won a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) First Time Faculty Award. “My research focus is to understand how the genetic programs required for embryonic and fetal development have critical roles in the advancement of disease, particularly cancer metastasis,” said Dr. Osborne. She is specifically interested in RNA regulatory programs and how they “direct organogenesis of the lung, kidney, and brain.”

Female Mentorship

Dr. Osborne first came to UT Southwestern as a graduate student in the laboratory of Melanie Cobb, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology. (Dr. Cobb holds the endowed title of Jane and Bill Browning Jr. Chair in Medical Science.) “Having Dr. Cobb as a mentor and now friend and colleague has been surreal. The experience taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with people that genuinely care about you and believe in your potential,” said Dr. Osborne.

“When women support each other, there are no obstacles we cannot overcome.”

Early Influences

Dr. Osborne’s interest in science was first piqued in elementary school upon reading a children’s National Geographic magazine about sharks and their resistance to cancer. “I became obsessed,” she said. “That year, for the end-of-year science project, my mom and I made a shark out of concrete that we painted and labeled. Not only did I get my first A in science, but it won a place in the science fair and was on display in the auditorium library.” She credits her mother for fostering this interest and supporting her interests going forward.

“My mom is a brilliant, high-energy, dedicated woman. She encouraged us to always strive to know more, do more, be more, and never settle for mediocrity.”

Advice for the Next Generation

Dr. Osborne preaches the power of perseverance:

“The first piece of advice I would give to young girls, especially girls of color, is to work hard and never give up. Follow your dreams no matter what people may say about being ‘realistic’ in your pursuit of what drives you.”

Additionally, she touts the importance of identifying mentors. “Form a strong network of mentors, colleagues, and friends. Having people in your corner and being in others’ corners strengthens us as women to keep going and growing.”

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