"It is a privilege to work with a foundation that is so totally dedicated to eradicating brain cancer. The ABC2 team, along with our patients, inspire us all to mobilize whatever is necessary to improve the prognosis and treatment for brain cancer. They drive the field to work together as a team to push the envelope well beyond conventional wisdom."
Dennis was previously the Joseph J. Bagnor/Shands Professor of Medical Research in the Department of Neurosurgery of the University of Florida College of Medicine and he also served as the Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin Madison and received his doctorate in anatomy studying neurobiology from the University of California, San Francisco. After postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, Dennis began his studies of brain development and disease, repair and cancer as a faculty member at Michigan State University and then the University of Tennessee Memphis Health Science Center, where he was a Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology before moving to the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute and College of Medicine.
Dennis' research focuses on the growth and transplantation of normal and cancerous stem cells and his lab was the first to clone and characterize a number of these cells. Recent studies in his lab focus on testing stem cell biology and regenerative medicine therapeutics in models of brain cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to creating patient- and disease-specific avatars for the testing of new molecular and biologic therapies, his laboratory uses novel cell culture assays and biomarker screenings to screen for therapeutics including phytocompounds and precision medicine combination therapies.
Dennis has served on the editorial boards of the journals: The Journal of Neuroscience, GLIA, Experimental Neurology, The Journal of Neurocytology, Gene Expression, Developmental Brain Research, Brain Research, and The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
In addition to having issued patents in the area of human stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, he is a co-founder of several biotechnology companies focused on adult stem cells and polymolecular compounds derived from plants for diagnosing and treating neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.