Dr. Brian Haab named assistant dean of Van Andel Institute Graduate School

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (October 16, 2018) — Van Andel Institute Graduate School has named pancreatic cancer expert and long-time faculty member Brain Haab, Ph.D., as an assistant dean.

Dr. Brian Haab

In his new role, Haab will focus on designing and implementing curriculum for the school’s rigorous, problem-based Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology.

He also will continue to lead his laboratory at Van Andel Research Institute, where he and his team search for new ways to diagnose, stratify and treat pancreatic cancer based on the chemical fingerprints that tumors leave behind.

“Dr. Haab has been an integral part of doctoral education at the Institute since the beginning,” said Steven J. Triezenberg, Ph.D., dean of Van Andel Institute Graduate School. “He is an excellent scientist and educator whose efforts throughout the years have significantly enhanced our understanding of pancreatic cancer while also shaping the lives and careers of many students and trainees. I look forward to working with Brian to continue building our program’s reputation as a leader in biomedical research doctoral training.”

Haab has been a member of the Graduate School’s faculty since it was established in 2007. For ten years, he served as course director for a problem-based learning module focused on pancreatic cancer. He also has led a course focused on translational research for first-year students.

In addition to his scholarship, Haab has mentored a number of doctoral students from Michigan State University and Van Andel Institute Graduate School, along with numerous postdoctoral fellows and undergraduate interns. Over the years, he has served on the Graduate School’s curriculum committee, comprehensive exam committee, admissions committee, and student performance review committee.

“It has been an honor to be part of the Graduate School’s growth as a faculty member and, now, I’m thrilled to help it continue to flourish as an assistant dean,” Haab said. “Ensuring that the next generation of scientists has a strong foundation for their careers is an extremely rewarding and critical endeavor as we work to improve health today and far into the future.”

Nested within the state-of-the-art facilities of Van Andel Research Institute, Van Andel Institute Graduate School offers a rigorous, research-focused Ph.D. program in molecular and cell biology. The Graduate School has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 2013. To date, 17 students have earned their Ph.D.s from the Institute and have gone on to successful careers in research, academia and industry.


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit 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 400 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) develops future leaders in biomedical research through an intense, problem-focused Ph.D. degree in cell and molecular genetics. By combining rigorous, inquiry-based coursework with extensive experience in laboratories led by the Institute’s expert faculty, VAIGS prepares students for productive careers in biomedical research and beyond. The Graduate School thrives within the state-of-the-art facilities of Van Andel Research Institute, with access to extensive core technology support and the resources of collaborators in Grand Rapids, Michigan and around the country. Learn more about Van Andel Institute Graduate School by visiting vaigs.vai.org.