Donald Vander Griend, Ph.D.


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery - Section of Urology, Ben May Department for Cancer Research, Committee on Cancer Biology
  • Director of Urological Research 


Ph.D., The University of Chicago


The University of Chicago
MC 6038 / SBRI J557D
5841 South Maryland Ave. 
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Phone:  (773) 702-2260


Understanding the molecular events leading to prostate carcinogenesis is critical towards developing new rationale therapies to prevent and treat prostate cancer.  Prostate stem cells are thought to be present at a very low frequency, possess high self-renewal capacity, and proliferate infrequently to renew themselves and simultaneously generate progeny which go on to form the diverse cell types comprising the prostatic epithelial compartment.  It is along the path starting from a stem cell to becoming a fully differentiated Androgen Receptor-positive luminal epithelial cell that genetic mutations and cellular transformation occurs.  This process, however, is poorly understood and the precise mechanism(s) of prostate carcinogenesis remains unknown.   Dr. Vander Griend’s research focuses on understanding the normal function of the human prostate epithelial compartment as it relates to (1) stem cell maintenance and turnover, (2) dependence upon androgen and the supporting stroma, and (3) molecular events driving prostate carcinogenesis. 

Dr. Vander Griend received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of Chicago.  From there he conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at the Brady Urological Institute and the Department of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University in the laboratory of Dr. John Isaacs.  His post-doctoral work focused on prostate stem cells as they relate to normal prostate function and androgen signaling.  Dr. Vander Griend joined the faculty in 2009 to continue his work on stem cells as they relate to carcinogenesis and differentiation. 

View Research Papers on PubMed