Skip Navigation

John A. Petros, MD

Professor of Urology & Pathology
Emory University School of Medicine

Associate Chair for Urologic Research

Faculty Urologist, Atlanta VA Medical Center


Dr. Petros's full profile and curriculum vitae 

Dr. Petros is a Professor of Urology and the Associate Chair of Research at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Petros holds secondary academic appointments as Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory.

Dr. Petros received an Artium Baccalaureatus (AB) Degree from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri majoring in Chemistry and Biology. He attended medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago Illinois. He completed his urology residency training at Washington University, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis Missouri. In 1993, Dr. Petros joined the Department of Urology at Emory University as an academic faculty urologist and scientist. Dr. Petros is a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology (1995). Dr. Petros has been both a practicing surgical urologist and the principal investigator of a basic science laboratory for the entire time he has been at Emory (1993-present).  While taking care of patients every week he has maintained continuous extramural funding for his laboratory for over 20 years.

Dr. Petros is most well know for pioneering the field of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in prostate cancer having been the first to show that inherited mutations of this genome result in increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer.  Major contributions to this field have included showing that mtDNA mutations exert their cancer promoting influence by altering the production of cellular reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species, which in turn activate a cascade of tumor-promoting molecular events.  The ultimate clinical translation of these findings may be the development of novel therapies targeting these molecules.  This research also holds the promise of patient-individualized (personalized) medicine in that individuals could be identified that have inherited these gene mutations and selected for more intensive screening and early treatment. Dr. Petros found that mutations in the mtDNA are much more common in African Americans with prostate cancer than Caucasian Americans with prostate cancer.  This may be responsible for some of the health disparities in this disease where African American men are at higher risk for developing and/or dying of prostate cancer. In addition, Dr. Petros is conducting research designed to develop a new diagnostic blood or urine test for kidney cancer.  

Dr. Petros is married to his wife of 31 years (Teresa) a practicing pediatrician and together they are raising 5 daughters.  Dr. Petros is active in faith-based (Catholic) medical missions including missions to Ghana Africa, El Salvador and Mexico.  Dr. Petros serves on the Board of Directors for the Associated Credit Union (ACU) in Norcross GA, a $1.3 Billion dollar financial institution.  Dr. Petros also serves on the board of the ACU foundation responsible for local charitable donations. In 2011 Dr. Petros was selected “Alumnus of the Year” by Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine for his work in missions.

Undergraduate Education

AB (Chemistry & Biology), Washington University, St. Louis, MO (1982)

Medical School

Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago Illinois (1986)

Surgery Internship

Washington University, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis Missouri (1986-1987)

Urology Residency

Washington University, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis Missouri (1987-1993)

Board Certification
American Board of Urology (1995)

Academic & Clinical Appointments
Emory University School of Medicine (1993-present)

Atlanta VA Medical Center (1993-present)