Gary S. Stein, Ph.D.
Perelman Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry
Professor, Department of Surgery
Gary Stein is dedicated to translating cellular and molecular mechanisms into understanding cancer. The central theme of his research is control of proliferation and differentiation with emphasis on cancer-compromised genetic and epigenetic regulation. His research, a long-standing partnership with Janet Stein and Jane Lian, has consistently focused on innovative exploration of mechanisms and molecular signatures. Gary Stein is recognized for development of paradigm-shifting concepts and strategies that opened the field of skeletal biology and pathology to molecular, cellular and epigenetic investigation. He pioneered and has remained at the forefront of characterizing genetic and epigenetic regulation that mediates cell cycle control in lineage-committed cells, cancer stem cells and pluripotent stem cells with an abbreviated cell cycle. He has made pivotal contributions to understanding the transcriptome by defining mechanisms that govern combinatorial organization, integration and assembly of regulatory machinery in nuclear microenvironments; higher-order genomic organization, including inter- and intra-chromosomal interactions and noncoding RNAs; and epigenetic control of cell fate and lineage commitment in biological control and cancer. His recent discoveries of mitotic bookmarking in somatic cells and mitosis-specific bivalent histone modifications in pluripotent stem cells that are recapitulated in early stage breast and prostate cancer cells established “oncofetal epigenetic control” as a novel dimension to tumorigenesis. He has more than 950 publications and has edited more than 25 books that illustrate his significant research contributions and his standing in the scientific community.
Trained in biology and pathology, Gary Stein is dedicated to translating mechanistic understanding of cancer biology to clinical applications. He is committed to advancing capabilities for prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship of breast and prostate cancer and leukemia, as well as mechanistic and clinical understanding of skeletal metastasis. Transdisciplinary team research has always been a key approach for Gary Stein—it has been the guiding strategy for his own research group. He advocated collaboration as Director of the University of Massachusetts Cancer Center, Director of the Massachusetts Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Chair of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Cell Biology and as Director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center. He currently emphasizes partnerships as principal investigator of the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network, Co-Director of the Vermont Cancer Coalition and Chair of the UVM Department of Biochemistry. He is an inspiring leader who has facilitated effective transdisciplinary collaborative research that unites departments within institutions, research centers across geographic regions, and researchers around the globe. He has directed graduate, post-graduate and faculty development programs and serves on regional, national and international scientific advisory boards that establish science policy research priorities and incentivize clinical trials. Gary Stein has organized and chaired Gordon Research Conferences, FASEB Summer Research Conferences and Keystone Symposia on “nuclear structure and cancer,” “cell cycle control” and “epigenetic regulation.” Gary Stein has mentored more than 175 graduate students, research and clinical fellows, and junior faculty scientists and physician/investigators.
Gary Stein received the most prestigious research awards from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Orthopedic Research Society and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). He was also recognized by the ASBMR with the Gideon Rodan Award for mentorship, by Brown University with the Steroid-Hormone Research Award and by UVM Larner College of Medicine with the Outstanding Faculty Research Award (2018). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He held the Haidak Distinguished Professorship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS, 1999) and currently holds the Arthur Perelman Professorship at the University of Vermont (UVM). His contributions to biomedical research development in Asia and in South America were recognized by election to the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and an honorary Professorship at Universidad Andrés Bello in Chile.