Researcher honored for studies of BPA, cancer

Gail Prins

Gail Prins studies the link between cancer and BPA. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Gail Prins, a UIC researcher who is best known for investigating the link between prostate cancer risk and a common chemical found in plastics, received the 2014 Distinguished Andrologist Award from the American Society of Andrology.

The award, the highest given by the society, is presented each year to an individual for outstanding contributions in the field of male physiology and health.

Prins is director of the andrology laboratory and professor of urology and physiology in the College of Medicine. Her work focuses on hormonal regulation of prostate gland development and prostate cancer.

In 2013, her groundbreaking research provided the first direct evidence that exposure during development to BPA, or bisphenol A, a plastic additive found in thousands of products, increases the risk for prostate cancer in human prostate tissue. She presented her findings in June at the ENDO meeting in San Francisco and later published in the journal Endocrinology.

Prins received her doctorate in physiology and biophysics from UIC. She was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow in the department of urology and the Center for Reproductive Science at Northwestern University.

She has published more than 160 research papers and is funded by multiple grants from the NIH. She has served on several NIH study sections and advisory committees and the integration panel for the Defense department’s prostate cancer research program.

A past president of the American Society of Andrology, Prins is an editor of Endocrinology, associate editor of Andrology, and an editorial board member of Prostate and Reproductive Toxicology.

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