Michelle (Shelley) Barton, PhD, currently serves as the Co-Director of the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR) at the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute. Dr. Barton’s primary focus is on the biology space and working with CEDAR teams. She recently moved from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she was a Professor in the Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis and Dean of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Barton’s scientific expertise is in cancer epigenetics and gene regulation. As Dean of the Graduate School, she implemented many programs to increase the diversity of the student body, support an enriched sense of community, and improve training in the skills needed for extramural funding and career development.
Michelle Barton grew up on a small family farm in Illinois. She went to the University of Illinois-Urbana, as the first in her family to go to college, and received her BS in biochemistry. After working as a research assistant at the Boston University Medical School, she returned to University of Illinois and received her PhD in Biochemistry, working with Dr. David Shapiro in the field of estrogen regulation of gene expression. Dr. Barton went to San Diego for her postdoctoral studies in the field of epigenetics, working with Dr. Beverly Emerson at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. These studies were supported by fellowships from the Anna Fuller Foundation and an NIH NRSA. Dr. Barton’s first faculty appointment was at the University of Cincinnati Medical School, where she was promoted to Associate Professor.