Press Release

22 Jul 2015

Van Andel Research Institute expands skeletal disease research program with addition of new associate professor

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (July 20, 2015) Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) is pleased to welcome Patrick Grohar, M.D., Ph.D, to its Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

In his role as associate professor in the Center’s Program in Skeletal Disease and Tumor Microenvironment, Grohar will lead a team focused on developing new therapies for bone diseases such as Ewing sarcoma, a type of tumor that can occur in bone or soft tissue. He also will participate in clinical activities at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and research activities at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

“I am very excited to join what is already an excellent program in skeletal diseases and cancer biology at VARI. The Institute is an outstanding place that truly provides an environment focused on impacting diseases such as Ewing sarcoma,” Grohar said. “We hope to add to this environment by developing new therapies and bringing them to the clinic here in Grand Rapids along with our collaborators at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.”

Grohar is the sixth new investigator to join VARI since September 2014. His hire is part of the Institute’s commitment to positively impact human health by expanding its basic and translational research efforts. Additionally, the Institute’s strong research collaborations with MSU and Spectrum Health were an integral part of recruiting Grohar to Grand Rapids. The three institutions currently share several joint appointed faculty members, and work together on a range of projects, including research into cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression.

“Dr. Grohar’s exceptional research and clinical work are outstanding additions to the Institute’s strong research program into skeletal diseases, especially cancers that begin in or spread to the bone,” said Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., VARI’s research director. “As a physician-scientist, he is in a unique position to make direct observations in the clinic and to channel those observations into testable hypotheses in the lab, and vice versa. We look forward to his contributions to our Institute’s research.”

Grohar comes to VARI from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, where he ran a laboratory and treated pediatric patients at the university’s medical center. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry and his M.D. at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, followed by a residency at Johns Hopkins University. He then completed fellowship training in pediatric hematology oncology at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute, where he also served as a junior faculty member.


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 270 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in on-site laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Learn more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®


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