Albert Dobi, Ph.D.

Associate Director, CPDR Basic Science Research Program
Research Assistant Professor of Surgery, USUHS

Dr. Albert Dobi joined the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) in September 2003 and became the Associate Director of Basic Science Research Program in March 2007. Dr. Albert Dobi is the Chief of the Section for Gene Regulation and Bioinformatics, a Research Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and also he is a member of The United States Military Cancer Institute (USMCI).

Dr. Dobi integrates prostate cancer research activities within the Basic Research Science Program and leads research efforts towards the exploration of regulation, expression and functions of prostate cancer-associated genes, such as, ERG and androgen-regulated genes. His specific goal is to determine key elements of prostate tumorigenesis and to develop new approaches towards the treatment of prostate cancer by synergizing state-of-the-art molecular and in silico bioinformatic methodologies.

Dr. Dobi earned his doctorate in biology from the University of Szeged, Hungary. As a recipient of the prestigious U.S. National Institutes of Health Fogarty Visiting Fellowship, from 1990 to 1992 Dr. Dobi received postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Dean H. Hamer at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this capacity, he formulated a model to elucidate the gene regulatory basis of a cellular self-defense response to copper stress. As a Fogarty Fellow and later Visiting Associate Scientist in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), he was responsible for numerous successful projects involving gene characterization and transcription regulation.

Dr. Dobi's most significant achievement was the development of a model for understanding how calcium can change the conformation of the genome. Even though the regulatory role of intranuclear calcium is known, Dr. Dobi proposed that calcium could play a specific role in gene regulation by altering the structure of the DNA double helix and that dynamic alteration is a manifestation of a novel epigenetic coding mechanism.

Dr. Dobi made the transition to the Uniformed Services University, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Genetics in 1998, where his research focused on identifying important transcription factors in brain development.

Within the multi-disciplinary setting of CPDR, Dr. Dobi's endeavors revealed that C-MYC is a downstream target of the ERG oncogene. His research also contributed towards the discovery of dominant ERG splice variants in prostate cancer.

Dr. Dobi is the recipient of several awards such as the Sustained Superior Performance Award for Continued Superior Performance, given by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, the prestigious Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award, and award from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. He authored numerous peer-reviewed original reports and serves as reviewer for scientific journals.

Dr. Dobi supervises and trains researchers, residents and students within the CPDR Basic Science Research Program.