Welcome to the latest issue of Discovery. In many ways, it is a celebration of family — our family here at the Brady, physicians and scientists working hard together, sharing not only long hours but a common mission, to make life better for men with prostate cancer and their families. You could say that we've got our very own "Brady Bunch" here, and it's a lot bigger and more diverse than the one on TV. Our cover story is on Don Coffey, a man many consider to be the "father" of prostate cancer research. I was one of his graduate students, and I can attest that everyone who works with Don Coffey, who is mentored by him or who collaborates with him, is encouraged, nurtured and allowed to flourish, and feels part of an important, one-of-a-kind family. It is hard to imagine how many lives he has touched. We are fostering a new generation of young scientists now, and all of them will bear the stamp of Don Coffey in some way.It is amazing and humbling, too, to think that so many of our patients become part of the Brady family. The article on Page 4 celebrates two of them, Chris Evensen and Don Clark, and notes that after men like these are successfully treated — just when you'd think they would want to forget that prostate cancer ever happened, and get back to normal life — they give back, instead.
They help other men and their families by sharing experiences and wisdom, and by listening to their fears and concerns; they watch out for the next generation, by encouraging their sons and grandsons to begin screening; and they even help support our research and clinical effort financially. We talk about the "reluctant brotherhood" of men with prostate cancer. But on the other side of that dark tunnel of uncertainty, we have men like these, caring survivors, and lifetime members of our family. We need to come up with a name for these men. Maybe the "dedicated fraternity." Your suggestions are welcome.
Our Brady family includes not just urologists, but faculty in many disciplines. We are joined together in numerous collaborative projects, supported by grants, such as the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) from the National Cancer Institute, which encompasses 25 faculty and 17 staff in seven departments . Projects like these allow us to cross boundaries, and instead of separating scientists, so they each work on a tiny piece of the puzzle, we can bring together their unique qualities and skills with a single focus. At the other end of the funding spectrum are smaller but equally important grants from the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund — gifts from patients and friends to young scientists with creative new approaches to fighting prostate cancer. If you are new to the Brady family, welcome. If you have been with us a while, welcome back. I hope you will be as excited as I am to read about the tremendous work happening here.
Alan W. Partin, M.D., Ph.D.
David Hall McConnell Professor and Director The Brady Urological Institute