Dean A. Troyer

Offers student research opportunities
Contact Info

research overview

  • After residency training in pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (Now UT Health San Antonio), I completed a post-doctoral fellowship which focused on renal cell injury, cell signaling, and the function of kidney glomerular mesangial cells. During my early junior faculty years, I continued studies of renal disease, lipids, and nutrition in mouse models. In mid-career, I transitioned to molecular studies of prostate cancer, serving as the translational pathologist in a team of molecular biologists, urologists, and biostatisticians. I founded a biorepository at the University of Texas Health Science Center which remains in place and is regularly utilized in support of urologic research. I mentored a post-doctoral fellow, James Mubiru. We isolated and described a new prostate cancer cell line PacMetUT1. While in San Antonio I was the pathologist for the University of Texas Health Science Center participation in the Early Detection Research Network. I continue to collaborate with EDRN Investigators Robin Leach and Michael Liss in San Antonio and maintain adjunct faculty appointment in the UT Health San Antonio Dept of Pathology. I have recently shown that metabolite molecules can be quantitated in methanol extracts of 18 gauge core needle biopsies. Histology, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and extraction of DNA and RNA can all be performed on exactly the same tissue. IHC and other methods for assaying biomarkers in intact tissue are resource intensive and require microscopic interpretation. mPREF offers a method that opens the door to quantitation, standardization, automation and higher throughput and can be implemented in a clinical setting. I appreciate the requirements of histopathology and the challenges in introducing new methods to the practice of pathology. mPREF adds quantitative data to the repertoire of biomarkers available for use in intact tissue for discovery and validation useful in prostate and other cancers and diseases. Recently, I have partnered with Dr. Liang Li and at the University of Alberta and Dr.s Stephen Carrithers and Richard Coughlin at LaGrange Scientific to develop prognostic metabolite markers in renal cell carcinoma. LaGrange has obtained SBIR funding for the renal cell carcinoma project. In Norfolk, I collaborate via histopathology support for projects in prostate cancer.


  • I am a pathologist and conduct translational research in prostate and GU cancers. My practice experience is unique in combining long service in academic medicine with a brief time in commercial diagnostic laboratory, and now in a position which combines pathology practice and an academic appointment. I have been a consultant to MDx (formerly OncoMethylome Sciences), and have participated in the validation of methylation markers for bladder cancer. I am in a multicenter clinical consortium, The Canary Foundation focused on active surveillance of prostate cancer biomarker development. PTEN is one of the markers to emerge from that consortium. I am co-inventor of a method for fixation and extraction of metabolites from tissue. The work flow closely follow clinical processes so that no delays are incurred and paraffin embedded formalin fixed tissue can be used for histology, immunohistochemistry, and DNA/RNA assays just as they are under now. With LaGrange Scientific, we are applying this method to renal cell carcinoma to develop markers of risk of metastasis.

preferred title

  • Professor

full name

  • Dean A. Troyer, MD

recognition and awards

  • Patents
    2015- Methods and Reagents for Metabolomics and Histology in a Biological Sample and Kit for Same International Application Number PCT/US11/37093 Filing Date 5/19/11 Issue Date March 17, 2015; 8,980,548
    2013- Cellular Recognition Conjugates and Methods of Use for the Histological Analysis of Cancer Tissue Using MALDI-MS Imaging WO/2013/013130 International Application No.: PCT/US2012/047557 Publication Date: 24.01.2013 International Filing Date: 20.07.2012