September 1, 2014

   A Publication of the James Buchanan Brady
   Urological Institute Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Volume I, Spring 1988

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Donald S. Coffey, Ph.D.

Donald S. Coffey, Ph.D., is director of the Brady Urological Research Laboratories, one of the few triple professors (oncology, pharmacology and urology) in Hopkins history and a major contributor to our understanding of the prostate gland and its disorders. An original thinker whose reputation as a philosopher/lecturer matches his biomedical achievements, the 55-year-old Tennessean is noted for his ability to merge the interests and talents of clinical and basic scientists.


Donald S. Coffey, Ph.D., Director of Research

In recent years, his scientific expertise and leadership led to new discoveries about the shape of cancerous prostate cells and the development of computer software that tracks the distortions and "dances" of these abnormal cells. The cell-tracing technology is expected to add a powerful diagnostic weapon to the anticancer arsenal. Coffey and his associates also identified a new "core" skeletal structure in the nucleus of cells. His experiments suggest that his nuclear matrix controls the replication of DNA and thus of the cells themselves. And because prostate cancer and other malignancies are diseases of abnormal cell replication, the work is likely to shed important light on how cancer itself begins and on possible ways to control or prevent it.

A noted teacher and adviser to young scientists, Coffey has developed animal models for prostate cancer, used them to assess various treatments and championed urological research among government and other funding agencies.

 

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