Brian Van Ness, PhD

Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, College of Biological Sciences

Brian Van Ness

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-9944

Lab Phone 612-624-9663

Office Address:
14-287 Moos

Lab Address:
14-115 Moos

Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, College of Biological Sciences

Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Informatics

Institute Cancer Research, Molecular Immunology, 1982

PhD, University of Minnesota, Biochemistry, 1980

MS, Indiana University of PA, Chemistry, 1975

BS, Indiana University of PA, Biology, 1973


Brian Van Ness, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. He served as the Head of the Department for eight years and recently stepped down to serve as a co-Director of the Institute of Human Genetics and as the Director of a newly established Division of Medical Genomics. After receiving a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in chemistry from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA, Dr. Van Ness obtained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. He conducted his postdoctoral work in molecular immunology with the Institute for Cancer Research in Fox Chase, PA. His current research focuses on exploring how genetic variations influence disease progression and therapeutic response, particularly with regard to cancer. He is currently engaged in establishing a Pharmacogenomics Core Laboratory. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Myeloma Foundation and the Myeloma Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and an active member of the American Society of Hematology. He serves as the co-Director of the International Myeloma Foundation's "Bank On A Cure" which is an international consortium dedicated to genetic associations with clinical outcomes in myeloma populations. He is also serving as a co-investigator in an NIH sponsored project to determine the ethics and policies governing DNA banking and return of research results to subjects. In addition to teaching responsibilities in the Medical curriculum, Dr. Van Ness is a frequent guest speaker for continuing medical education programs and patient support groups around the country on genomics and personalized medicine.


Research Summary/Interests

  • cancer genetics
  • pharmacogenomics
  • individualized medicine


  • Lee, E, Fitzgerald, M, Liu, R, Pickard, M, Terkelsen, J, Bradley, OS, Silva M, Li, Z, Tayber, O, Li, P, Bannerman, B, Babcock, T, Frase, J, Hu, L, Hynes, J, Neppalli, V, Carsillo, M, Kupperman, E, Manfredi, M, Van Ness, B, Janz, S. (2011) The investigational proteasome inhibitor MLN9708 demonstrates antitumor activity in preclinical mouse models of hematological malignanices. Clin Cancer Res. In press.
  • Minarik J, Scudla V, Ordeltova M, Pika T, Bacovsky J, Steinbach M, Kumar V, Van Ness B. (2010) Combined measurement of plasma cell proliferative and apoptotic index in multiple myeloma defines patients with good and poor prognosis. Leuk Res. 2010 May 18. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Durie, BG, Van Ness, B, Ramos, C, Stephens, O, Haznadar, M, Hoering, A, Haessler, J, Katz, M, Mundy, G, Kyle, R, Morgan, G, Crowley, J, Barlogie, B, and Shaughnessy, J. (2009) DNA SNPs in myeloma: genetic polymorphisms of EPHX1, Gsk3beta, TNFSF8 and myeloma cell DKK-1 expression linked to bone disease in myeloma. Leukemia. 23:1913-1919.
  • Van Ness, B. (2008) Genomic research and incidental findings. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 36:292-297.
  • Van Ness, B, Ramos, C, Haznadar, M, Hoering, A,Haessler, J, Crowley, J, Jacobus, S, Oken, M, Rajkumar, V, Greipp, P, Barlogie, B, Durie, B, Katz, M, Atluri, G, Ganf, G, Gupta, R, Steinbach, M, Kumar, V, Mushlin, R, Johnson, D, and Morgan, G. (2008) Genomic Variation in Myeloma: Design, content, and initial application of the Bank On A Cure SNP Panel to analysis of survival. BMC Medicine. 6:26.
  • Boylan, K, Kvitrud, M, Staggs, S, Janz, S, Grindle, S, Kansas, G, and Van Ness, B. (2007) A transgenic mouse model of plasma cell malignancy shows phenotypic, cytogenetic, and gene expression heterogeneity similar to human multiple myeloma. Cancer Research. 1;67(9):4069-78.
  • Linden, M, Kirchhof, N, Carlson, C, and Van Ness, B. (2004) Targeted overexpression of BCL-xL in B lymphoid cells results in lymphoproliferative disease and plasma cell malignancies. Blood. 103:2779-2790.
  • Cheung, WC, Kim, JS, Linden, M, Van Ness, B. Polakiewicz, R, and Janz, S. Novel targeted deregulation of c-myc and bcl-xL combine to cause plasma cell malignancies in mice. (2004) J. Clinical Invest. 113: 1763-1773.
  • Croonquist, P. Linden, M, Zhao, F, and Van Ness, B. (2003) Gene Profiling of a Myeloma Cell Line Reveals Similarities and Unique Signatures among IL-6 response, N-ras Activating Mutations and co-culture with Bone Marrow Stromal Cells. Blood. 2581-2592