Department of Comparative Biosciences
Office: 121 - AHABS
B.A. in Chemistry and Biology, St. Olaf College, 1998
Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, University at Buffalo, 2003
Post-Doctoral research in Developmental Toxicology, 2003-2009.
Symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer significantly decrease quality of life and represent an enormous health care burden. An incomplete understanding of causative mechanisms stands in the way of more effective therapies for these diseases. There are numerous examples of prostate developmental genes and signaling pathways being inappropriately reactivated in adulthood to cause prostate cancer or benign proliferative growth. The focus of our laboratory’s research is to elucidate mechanisms of urogenital development including patterns of innervation and vascularization and proliferative cell growth. We are investigating how male hormones initiate prostate ductal formation, how prostate ducts elongate into surrounding mesenchyme, and how both of these processes are patterned in three dimensions to give rise to a bilaterally symmetrical prostate gland comprised of anterior dorsal, lateral, and ventral lobes. We test whether pharmacological agents disrupt these normal processes of prostate development and whether they will also block the abnormal processes contributing to prostate diseases in men.
Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology
Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology
Mehta V, Abler LL, Keil KP, Schmitz CT, Joshi PS and Vezina CM (2011). Atlas of Wnt and R-Spondin Gene Expression in the Developing Male Mouse Lower Urinary Tract. Dev Dyn 240: 2548–2560. PMC317799.
Abler LL, Keil KP, Mehta V, Joshi PS, Schmitz CT and Vezina CM (2011). A High Resolution Molecular Atlas of the Fetal Mouse Lower Urogenital Tract. Dev Dyn 240:2364-2377. PMC3177421.
Keil KP, Mehta V, Abler LL, Joshi PS, Schmitz CT, Vezina CM (2012). Visualization and quantification of mouse prostate development by in situ hybridization. Differentiation 84: 232–239.
Keil KP, Mehta V, Branam AM, Abler LL, Buresh-Stiemke RA, Joshi PS, Schmitz CT, Marker PC, Vezina CM. (2012). Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (Wif1) is regulated by androgens and enhances androgen-dependent prostate development. Endocrinol 153: 6091-6103. (Cover).
Mehta V, Schmitz CT, Keil KP, Joshi PS, Abler LL, Lin T-M, Taketo MM, Sun X, Vezina CM. (2013). Beta-catenin (CTNNB1) induces Bmp expression in urogenital sinus epithelium and participates in prostatic bud initiation and patterning. Dev Biol In Press.