4144 UW Med Fndtn Centennial Bldg
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Vincent Cryns is the Marian A. and Rodney P. Burgenske Professor of Medicine and the Chair of the Division of Endocrinology. The Cryns lab focuses on understanding how tumors adapt to and survive metabolic stress caused by their rapid growth. They are particularly interested in translating these insights into improved biomarkers and therapies. The Cryns laboratory group is widely recognized for identifying the molecular chaperone aB-crystallin as a novel anti-apoptotic protein that inhibits caspase-3 activation and for linking aB-crystallin to triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). They have also developed unique mouse models of metastatic TNBC and demonstrated that aB-crystallin plays a key role in brain metastasis, a devastating complication with few treatment options. They also showed that aB-crystallin expression in primary breast carcinomas is an independent predictor of brain metastasis and poor survival. More recently, they have developed a novel therapeutic paradigm to metabolically prime TNBC to proapoptotic therapy using dietary methionine restriction (MR). The Cryns laboratory also demonstrated that dietary MR enhances the antitumor activity of proapoptotic TRAIL receptor agonists by increasing the cell surface expression of TRAIL receptor-2 in TNBC. These preclinical findings were published and highlighted in Clinical Cancer Research and have led to funding for two clinical trials in patients with TNBC. Together with a multidisciplinary team, they have been at the forefront of translating nanotechnology discoveries into novel cancer diagnostic and therapeutic platforms.