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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Housewares Charity Foundation Award

Area(s) of Focus

Vincent L. Cryns, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine
Marian A. and Rodney P. Burgenske Chair,
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Current Research

Basal-like tumors, which include those classified as triple negative, are clinically aggressive and lack targeted therapies. Drs. Cryns and Gradishar and their colleagues have shown that a cell stress protein called αB-crystallin contributes to the aggressive behavior of basal-like/triple-negative tumors. More recently, they developed new experimental models of basal-like breast cancer and have shown that αB-crystallin regulates the spread (metastasis) of breast cancer and have linked αB-crystallin to breast cancer stem cells, key regulators metastasis. During the next year of BCRF funding, the team will examine the mechanisms by which αB-crystallin promotes breast cancer stem cell survival and study whether αB-crystallin is co-expressed with breast cancer stem cell markers in breast tumors from patients. These studies could lead to new treatments for metastatic basal-like/triple-negative breast cancer.


Vincent Cryns, MD, is the Marian A. and Rodney P. Burgenske Chair in Diabetes Research and Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Harvard and did subspecialty training in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Before coming to Madison, Dr. Cryns was a Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Cryns leads a multidisciplinary team who focus on understanding how cells die. His group is especially interested in elucidating how abnormalities in cell death contribute to diseases such as cancer and obesity and in translating these insights into improved therapies. Dr. Cryns’ research is funded by the NIH, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other agencies. His work has been featured on National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered" and highlighted in Nature and Nature Reviews Cancer. Dr. Cryns has been the recipient of several awards, including an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the Avon Foundation, and he is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.