Dean Bacich, Ph.D.
Division of Research
Dr. Bacich received his Honors degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1990 and his Graduate degree, also in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1997 from the University of Adelaide in Australia. He completed post-doctoral fellowships in 1999 at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research within the Departments of Surgery and Urology, and at the Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Cancer Biology in 2002, before being recruited to The University of Pittsburg in the Department of Urology as an Assistant Professor in 2003. He joined the faculty in the Department of Urology at the University of Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) in 2014 as an Associate Professor. Dr. Bacich’ s research focuses on prostate cancer, specifically Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), which is a unique folate hydrolase that is highly expressed in prostate cancer. The folate hydrolase activity spurred his interest in the effect of folate on prostate cancer initiation and progression. This area of research is particularly relevant given the requirement for folate for cancer cell division as well as it being required for genomic stability and methylation reactions, thus it can have positive or negative consequences depending on the stage of the cancer, and yet patient intake of folate can be easily modified by dietary modification. This, in turn, has led to his interest in how folate levels modulate FASN expression and regulation, and the potential interaction of folate with FASN’s nuclear localization. His research has also diversified to examining and targeting the expression of PSMA in the vasculature of Renal tumors, as well as the role that PSMA has on urinary incontinence in diabetes.
Research & Grants
Dr. Bacich's research focuses on prostate cancer, specifically the prostate cancer antigen, Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), which is a unique folate hydrolase that is highly expressed in prostate cancer. The folate hydrolase activity spurred his interest in the effect of folate on prostate cancer initiation and progression. This area of research is particularly relevant, given the requirement for folate for cancer cell division as well as it being required for genomic stability and methylation reactions, thus it can have positive or negative consequences depending the stage of the cancer, and yet patient intake of folate can be easily modified by dietary modification.
Yao, V., Berkman, CE, Choi JK, O’Keefe, DS* and Bacich, DJ*(2010). Expression of Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), increases cell folate uptake and proliferation and suggests a novel role for PSMA in the uptake of the non-polyglutamated folate, folic acid. * these authors contributed equally to this manuscript. Prostate 70(3) 305-16. PMID 19830782.
Yao, V., Parwani, A., Maier, C., Heston, WDW., Bacich, DJ(2008) Moderate Expression of Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen, a Tissue Differentiation Antigen and Folate Hydrolase, Facilitates Prostate Carcinogenesis. Cancer Research 68(21):9070-7. PMCID 133339
Yao, V and Bacich DJ. (2006) Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) expression gives prostate cancer cells a growth advantage in a physiologically relevant folate environment in vitro. Prostate 66:867-875
Bacich D.J., Wozniak, K., Lu, M., O’Keefe, D. S. , Callizot, N., Heston, W.D.W. and Slusher, B.S. (2005) Mice lacking Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II are protected from peripheral neuropathy and ischemic brain injury. J Neurochem. 2005 Oct;95(2):314-23.
Gregor PD, Wolchok JD, Turaga V, Latouche JB, Sadelain M, Bacich D, Heston WD, Houghton AN, Scher HI (2005) Induction of autoantibodies to syngeneic prostate-specific membrane antigen by xenogeneic vaccination. Int. J Cancer 116:415-21
O'Keefe DS, Bacich DJ, Heston WD. (2004) Comparative analysis of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) versus a prostate-specific membrane antigen-like gene. Prostate 58:200-10
Balaji KC, Rao PS, Smith DJ, Louis S, Smith LM, Sherman S, Bacich DJ, O’Keefe D. (2004) Microarray analysis of differential gene expression in androgen independent prostate cancer using a metastatic human prostate cancer cell line model. Urologic Oncology 22:313-320.
Bacich, DJ, Ramadam, E, O’Keefe, DS, Bukhari, N, Wegorzewska, E, Ojeifo, O, Wrenn, CC, Bzdega, T, Wroblewska, B, Heston, WDW, Neale JH. (2002) Deletion of the Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II Gene in Mice reveals a second enzyme activity that hydrolyzes N-Acetylaspartylglutamate. J. Neurochem. 83:20-29
Bacich DJ, Pinto JT, Tong W, Heston WDW. (2001) Cloning, Expression, Genomic Localization and Enzymatic activities of the murine homologue of Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen / NAALADase / Folh1. Mam. Genome 12 117-123