Lisa Cain, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences and Cell Biology
Associate Member, Institute for the Medical Humanities
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Bachelor of Science in Biology - 1984 - Jackson State University

Ph.D. in Anatomy - 1989 - University of Mississippi Medical Center at Jackson


Lisa D. Cain, Ph.D. is a native of Canton, Mississippi and a graduate of Holy Child Jesus High School in Canton, Mississippi. A distinguished Honors College graduate of Jackson State University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1984. As a student at Jackson State University, Cain was an exemplary leader. She was chosen Miss Jackson State University 1983-84. She was elected Miss Freshman and Sophomore Class representative to the Student Government Association and she served as editor of the Jacksonian yearbook.
In 1989, Cain received a Ph.D. from the Anatomy Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey from 1989-90 and was a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from 1990-1992.

Presently, Cain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosciences and Cell Biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, where she teaches medical and graduate students. She is an Associate Member of the Institute for Medical Humanities. She is, is 2007 graduate of the Scholars is Education Program at UTMB and is a member of UTMB’s Academy of Master Teachers.  She served as a course director for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Cell Biology course for 6 years and is the Director of the Aerospace Medicine Track Curriculum. Cain is a neuroscientist.  Her research at UTMB involved cholinergic neuron survival and investigating agents that protect spinal cord neurons against the effect of glutamate toxicity and other insults.  She has mentored students and published papers in peer reviewed journals.  She has been instrumental in establishing networks to develop neuroscience programs in countries outside of the United States.
She holds an administrative position as the Director of the Medical School Enrichment Programs in the Office of Student Affairs at UTMB. As Director of the Medical School Enrichment Programs she is responsible for implementing research and academic medical school pipeline programs for undergraduate and medical students. She is responsible for maintaining a contractual partnership with six universities in the state of Texas and for maintaining contractual partnerships with four community organizations. She is past Vice Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the School of Medicine (2006-2008) at UTMB. Currently she is a member of the medical school admissions committee, the educational research committee, and the international oversight committee. In 2011-2012 she was elected to UTMB’s Faculty Senate and served as Chair of the Academic and Administrative Committee. Presently she serves as Chair –Elect of the 2012-2013 Senate. In this capacity she represents faculty from the School of Nursing, School of Health Professions, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Medical School. She is also Co-Chair of the UT Systems Faculty Advisory Council. 

Cain also realizes the importance of service and global outreach. In addition to her duties at UTMB, she is involved in national and international affairs. She has served as an educational consultant and has worked with the Minister of Health of Eritrea, Presidents of Universities, Deans and other administrators. She is the Gulf Coast Representative for the African Scientific Institute (ASI), founded in 1967, which includes more than 610 Fellows from 44 countries who have contributed significantly to science and technology. She is head of the international “Healthcare Initiative” for ASI.  She is the Southern United States leader for the Korle-Bu Foundation in Vancouver, Canada which is addresses the critical need for improved neurological care in Ghana and the West African region. She is on the Board of Directors and serves as chair of the research committee for the Korle-Bu Foundation. She was part of a planning committee for the implementation of an educational infrastructure conference held at UNESCO in Paris, France in, 2009. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Health, a national scientific organization established in 1943. She has been involved in educational collaborations in Paris, France, Canada, Ghana, Eritrea and the United States.

Cain has been the recipient of many honors and awards. She was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 2000 for her work in promoting diversity in the graduate school at UTMB. She received the “Unsung Hero Award” in 2000 from Congressman Nick Lampson for her contributions to the community of Galveston.  In 2003 she was nominated for the “Class of 1947 Excellence in Education Award” for her contributions to the Gross Anatomy and Radiology Course.  In 2004 she received the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award from the Galveston Council of the Greeks for her contributions to science and education and for her service to the community. In 2008 she received the Pre-Clinical Women in Medicine Award from the female medical students at UTMB for her excellence in mentoring and teaching. In 2009, she was selected to be a Faculty Marshall for the 2009 medical graduating class and a Faculty Hooder (the highest honor that a faculty can achieve) for the 2011 and 2012 UTMB medical school graduating class. She is featured in the book Voices of Historical and Contemporary Black American Pioneers,  published in March 2012 by ABC-CLIO, and was featured in the Texas Monthly Magazine in November, 2012 for her role as a medical professor and gross anatomy teacher at UTMB.

Cain is affiliated with scientific, educational, community and social organizations. She is a member of the Beta Phi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is a folk artist whose work has been and is presently exhibited at galleries throughout the United States. Her art has been featured in several magazines including “Southern Living Magazine and “Coast Magazine” of the Galveston Daily News.  She was featured in February, 2012 on “The Black Voice” on Fox 26 News for her art. She is a member of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and is married to Kim Shandell Smith. They are the parents of two sons, Marcus Percy DeKimbe and Malcolm XZavier Lindberg Smith. 

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