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A/Prof Ron Firestein, MD PhD - Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Assoc. Prof Firestein is a physician scientist, double board certified in Pathology (Anatomic and Molecular Genetics) specialising in Cancer Research, Oncology Translational Medicine and Oncology Drug Discovery and Biomarker Development.

Dr Firestein earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Biology and his MD/PhD from Stanford University as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in 2002. He completed residency in Anatomic Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and fellowship in Molecular Pathology at Harvard Medical School, where he received the Thomas Gil award for excellence in research.

Prior to joining the Hudson Institute in August 2015 as head of the Centre for Cancer Research, Assoc. Prof Firestein led a basic research lab and directed clinical translational research spanning from experimental (early discovery) across Phase I/II early clinical biomarker/companion diagnostics development. His basic research focuses on target ID/validation and molecular pathology of colon cancer, using NGS technologies and state of the art functional high throughput screens. His scientific work has resulted in peer reviewed high impact publications (including Nature, Cancer Cell, Cell, and Journal of Clinical Investigation) as well as seven patents.


McCleland M., Blaschke K., Chopra VS., Segal E., Watanabe C., Haley B., Mayba O., Yaylaoglu M., Firestein R. CCAT1 is an enhancer template RNA that predicts BET sensitivity in colorectal cancer. J. Clin. Invest. 2016; 126:639-52.

Storm E., Durinck S., Tremayne J., Klijavin N., Tan C., Ye X., Hongo JA., Firestein R., Blackwood E., Metcalfe C., Yauch B., de Sauvage F. Targeted therapy directed against PTPRK-RSPO3 fusion-positive colorectal tumours inhibit stem cell function and promote differentiation. Nature 2016; 529:97-100.

Junttila M., Mao W., Wang X. Wang B., Pham T., Flygare J., Yu SF., Yee S., Goldenberg D., Fields C., Eastham-Anderson JE., Singh M., Hongo JA., Firestein R., Schutten M., Flagella K., Polakis P., Polson A. Targeting LGR5+ Cells with an Antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of colon cancer. Sci. Transl. Med. 2015; 7:314

Adler AS., McCleland ML., Yee S., Yaylaoglu M., Hussain S., Cosino E., Quinones G., Modrusan Z., Seshagiri S., Torres E., Chopra VS., Haley B., Zhang Z., Blackwood EM., Singh M., Junttila M., Stephan JP., Liu J., Pau G., Fearon ER., Jiang Z., Firestein R. An integrative analysis of colon cancer identifies an essential function for PRPF6 in tumour growth. Genes Dev 2014; 28:1068-84.

Jaiswal BS., Kljavin NM., Stawiski EW., Chan E., Parikh C., Durinck S., Chaudhuri S., Pujara K., Guillory J., Edgar KA., Janakiraman V., Scholz RP., Bowman KK., Lorenzo M., Li H., Wu J., Yuan W., Peters BA., Kan Z., Stinson J., Mak M., Modrusan Z., Eigenbrot C., Firestein R., Stern HM., Rajalingam K., Schaefer G., Merchant MA., Sliwkowski MX., de Sauvage FJ., Seshagiri S. Oncogenic ERBB3 mutations in human cancer. Cancer Cell 2013; 23:603-17.

Related Links:

  • Director, Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Colon Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • cancer genetics
  • functional genomics
  • cancer therapeutics
  • bowel malignancies

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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