Vincent Cryns, MD

Position title: Professor, Department of Medicine; Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism


Phone: 608-262-4786

4144 UW Medical Foundation Centennial Building
1685 Highland Ave
Madison, WI

Vincent Cryns

Research Interests

Our laboratory focuses on understanding how cells die. We are especially interested in elucidating how abnormalities in cell death contribute to cancer and other diseases and in translating these insights into improved biomarkers and therapies. We are currently exploring the following questions:

  • How do cancer cells exploit the cellular stress response to inhibit apoptosis and promote metastasis?
  • How can we activate apoptosis in cancer cells but not normal cells?
  • How can we target metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells?

To answer these questions, we use a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates state-of-the-art molecular and cellular approaches, innovative mouse models and imaging, and nanotechnology. Our work has been featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and highlighted in Nature, Nature Reviews Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Honors & Awards

  • 2012 Chair, Clinical Endocrinology Subcommittee, Endocrinology Section, 2012 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Program Committee
  • 2011 Chair and Invited Speaker, “The Emerging Role of Nanotechnology in Cancer Therapy” Session, 2011 AACR Annual Meeting
  • 2010- Associate Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Cancer Research
  • 2005- Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2003 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Avon Foundation

Selected Publications

(Find further publications on PubMed)

  • Malin D, Strekalova E, Petrovic V, Deal AM, Al Ahmad A, Adamo B, Miller CR, Ugolkov A, Livasy C, Fritchie K, Hamilton E, Blackwell K, Geradts J, Ewend M, Carey L, Shusta EV, Anders CK, and Cryns VL. (2014) αB-crystallin: a novel regulator of breast cancer metastasis to the brain. Clin Cancer Res. 20(1):56-67. Epub 2013 Oct 16. PMID: 24132917 – Featured on journal cover (below)


  • Moyer TJ, Finbloom J, Chen F, Toft DJ, Cryns VL, Stupp SI. pH and amphiphilic structure direct supramolecular behavior in biofunctional assemblies. J Am Chem Soc 2014 136:14746-52.
  • Halo TL, McMahon KM, Angeloni NL, Xu Y, Wang W, Chinen AB, Malin D, Strekalova E, Cryns VL, Cheng C, Mirkin CA, Thaxton CS. NanoFlares for the detection, isolation, and culture of live tumor cells from human blood. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014 111:17104-9.
  • Malin D, Strekalova E, Petrovic V, Rajanala H, Sharma B, Ugolkov A, Gradishar WJ, Cryns VL. ERK-regulated aB-crystallin induction by matrix detachment inhibits anoikis and promotes lung metastasis in vivo. Oncogene 2015 In Press.
  • Strekalova E, Malin D, Good DM, Cryns VL. Methionine deprivation induces a targetable vulnerability in triple-negative breast cancer cells by enhancing TRAIL receptor-2 expression. Clin Cancer Res 2015 21: 2780-91.