Bethany Powell Gray, Ph.D.

Headshot of Bethany Powell Gray
  • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Research Interests

Using nucleic acid chemistry and biology to create safer drugs and tunable imaging agents for disease detection. more


Dr. Bethany Powell Gray is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences. 

Dr. Powell Gray received her B.S. in Chemistry from Abilene Christian University and her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, under the mentorship of Dr. Kathlynn Brown. She then completed postdoctoral work with Dr. Bruce Sullenger at Duke University.

The Powell Gray lab works to develop aptamer therapeutics and imaging agents for a variety of disease states. more


  • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions



  • B.S.; Abilene Christian University (Texas) (2005)
  • Ph.D.; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas, Southwestern Medical School (Texas) (2012)

Research & Publications


Traditionally antibodies have been considered the gold standard of targeting ligands, able to specifically target desired cellular targets with high affinity. Aptamers, small nucleic acid ligands, are targeting ligands with antibody-like affinities and specificities at a fraction of the size. Our lab selects novel aptamers against different disease targets and utilizes the unique properties of the aptamers to better detect, image and treat diseases. This involves the use of both in vitro biological aptamer selection techniques as well as oligonucleotide synthesis methods. Our ultimate goal is to develop new clinically relevant therapeutic and imaging agents to improve patient outcomes.

Lab Website: Powell Gray Lab

Technology Expertise Keywords

Aptamers; RNA therapeutics; Imaging

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Gray BP*, Song X*, Hsu DS, Kratschmer C, Levy M Barry AP and Sullenger BA. An Aptamer for Broad Cancer Targeting and Therapy. Cancers. 2020; 12(11):3217. * Co-first authors. PMID – 33142831

Gray BP, Requena MA, Nichols M and Sullenger BA. Aptamers as Reversible Sorting Ligands for Preparation of Cells in their Native State. Cell Chem Biol. 2020; 27:232-244. PMID - 31879266

Powell Gray B, Kelly L, Ahrens D, Barry A, Kratschmer C, Levy M and Sullenger BA. Tunable Cytotoxic Aptamer-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer. PNAS. 2018; 115(18):4761-4766. PMID - 29666232

Gray BP and Brown KC. Combinatorial Peptide Libraries: Mining for Cell-Binding Peptides. Chemical Reviews. 2014; 114(2):1020-1081. PMID - 24299061

Gray BP, McGuire MJ, and Brown KC. A Liposomal Drug Platform Overrides Peptide Ligand Targeting to a Cancer Biomarker, Irrespective of Ligand Affinity or Density. PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e72938. PMID - 24009717

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB)

Activities & Honors


  • American Chemical Society
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society
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