Douglas Dean

Robert W. Rounsavall Jr. and Gretchen C. Rounsavall Endowed Chair in Ocular Molecular Biology

School of Medicine

Douglas Dean is a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

His research focuses on the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb) and its role in cell cycle control and cancer. Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that affects approximately 300 children in the United States each year, most under the age of three. The disease is rarely fatal, but can lead to blindness. Not only is this gene mutated in all retinoblastomas, it is also mutated or its product is inactivated as a crucial step in formation of all cancers.

Dean’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health. He has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Cell, Molecular Cell, Nature, and Genes & Development. In 2015, he was awarded the RPB Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, presented to scientists actively engaged in research that investigates the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function.

Prior to coming to UofL in 2004, Dean served on the faculty in the Departments of Cell Biology and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he continued his studies on Rb until moving the laboratory to Louisville in October of 2004.

Dean earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed a three-year fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He then completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.