Director of Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program

Professor in Comparative Biosciences.
(608) 890-3235

121 Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences Bldg.

Research Interests: Signal transduction pathways governing prostate development and disease and perturbation of these pathways by environmental contaminants.


The Vezina lab uses the fetal mouse prostate as a model system to elucidate prostate growth stimulatory and inhibitory signals and investigate interactions between them in clinically relevant models of prostate disease. Our ultimate goal is to identify new pharmacological targets for prostate disease intervention. We are investigating how male hormones initiate prostate ductal formation, how prostate ducts elongate into surrounding mesenchyme, and how both of these processes are patterned in three dimensions to give rise to a bilaterally symmetrical prostate gland comprised of anterior dorsal, lateral, and ventral lobes. We test whether pharmacological agents and environmental toxicants such as TCDD disrupt these normal processes of prostate development and whether they increase the risk of, or afford protection against, prostate diseases in men.

  • Keil KP, Abler LL, Laporta J, Altmann HM, Mehta VJ, Hernandez L, Vezina CM. (2014). Androgen receptor DNA methylation regulates the timing and androgen sensitivity of mouse prostate ductal development. Dev Biol. In Press.
  • Keil KP, Abler LL, Altmann HM, Bushman W, Marker PC, Ricke WA, Bjorling DE, Vezina CM. (2014). Influence of animal husbandry practices on void spot assay outcomes in C57BL/6J male mice. Neurourol Urodyn. In Press.
  • Mehta V, Schmitz CT, Keil KP, Joshi PS, Abler LL, Lin T-M, Taketo MM, Sun X, Vezina CM. (2013). Beta-catenin (CTNNB1) induces Bmp expression in urogenital sinus epithelium and participates in prostatic bud initiation and patterning. Dev Biol 376: 125-135.
  • Keil KP, Mehta V, Branam AM, Abler LL, Buresh-Stiemke RA, Joshi PS, Schmitz CT, Marker PC, Vezina CM. (2012). Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (Wif1) is regulated by androgens and enhances androgen-dependent prostate development. Endocrinol 153: 6091-6103. (Cover).
  • Abler LL, Keil KP, Mehta V, Joshi PS, Schmitz CT and Vezina CM (2011). A High Resolution Molecular Atlas of the Fetal Mouse Lower Urogenital Tract. Dev Dyn 240:2364-2377. PMC3177421.

Check PubMed for other publications by Chad Vezina.

Mentor to METC Graduate Students:
  • Thomas Peterson (Current)
  • Brandon Scharpf (Current)
  • Shelby Petersen (2017-2020)
  • Anne Turco (2016-2021)
  • Kyle Wegner (2014-2020)