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.