Richard Pestell

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Richard G. Pestell
Dr. Richard Pestell - May 2011.jpg
Born Perth, Western Australia
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Citizenship United States, Australia
Fields Oncology, Endocrinology
Alma mater
Notable awards

Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD, FACP, FRACP, MBA is an oncologist and endocrinologist who most recently served as Executive Vice President at Thomas Jefferson University, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology, and Associate Dean of Cancer Programs at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1][2][3]

Education and early career[edit]

A native of Perth, Western Australia, Pestell attended Christ Church Grammar School on an academic and a sporting scholarship. He attended the Medical School of the University of Western Australia, on a Commonwealth Scholarship, receiving his M.B.B.S. in 1981. He received the Craven Perpetual Trophy as best distance runner, the University Full Blue for Athletics and the St Georges Award for best grades. During Medical school, in the summer vacation he worked in the iron ore mines in the North West of Australia.

He subsequently conducted clinical training in Internal Medicine, Oncology and Endocrinology, and was awarded the Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (FRACP) in 1993. He received a Ph.D. (1991) and M.D. (thesis 1997), from the University of Melbourne.[4] As the recipient of the Neal Hamilton Fairley Fellowship, and Winthrop Fellowship he became a Postdoctoral Clinical and Research Fellow in Medicine at the Massachusetts General HospitaL and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, from 1991 to 1993.[1][3]

Pestell was recruited as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, he became an Associate Professor, and 2001 Professor, in the Departments of Medicine and Developmental and Molecular Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, New York. Pestell served as Chair of the Division of Endocrine-Dependent Tumor Biology at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center from 2000 to 2002.[4]

In 2002, Dr. Pestell was named Director of the Lombardi Cancer Center and the Francis L. and Charlotte Gragnani Endowed Chair and Chairman of the Department of Oncology at the Georgetown University Medical Center. During this tenure, he also served as Associate Vice President of the Georgetown University Medical Center, and the Francis L. and Chairman of the Department of Oncology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.[1] While serving as Director of the Lombardi Cancer Center, Pestell led the effort for renewal of its National Cancer Institute designation,[5] and founded the Capital Breast Care Center with Andrea Jung of the Avon Foundation.[6] In 2005, he was named President of the USA branch of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, and held that position until 2010. The INCTR assists developing countries by supporting research collaboration, education and training in oncology with the aim of increasing survival rates and building infrastructure( was the founding Director for the Delaware Valley Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, an integrated research organization between comprehensive universities (University of Delaware, Nemours, Thomas Jefferson University, Christiana Care (2008 to 2010).[8][7]

Dr. Pestell with First Lady Laura Bush, Andrea Jung, and Kathleen Walas of Avon Products, Inc.


Pestell's research has included contributions to understanding cell cycle regulation and the aberrations that can lead to cells turning cancerous in particular breast and prostate cancer .[8][9]

First, Pestell showed that nuclear receptors (estrogen and androgen) are acetylated, and that this event is rate-limiting in hormone signaling and growth control- thus a new target for cancer therapy. His laboratory demonstrated this was a general mechanism conserved among nuclear receptors that affect diverse biological processes.[8]

Secondly, in the cell cycle field, his research has shown the discovery that cyclins are direct transcriptional targets of oncogenic and tumor suppressor signals. That cyclin expression is rate-limiting for oncogene-induced breast tumor growth in vivo and that cyclin D1 regulates diverse function including cellular migration, mitochondrial metabolism, angiogenesis, and nuclear receptor function in vivo.[8][9]

Thirdly , Pestell defined key target genes required for breast cancer stem cell expansion in vivo including p21Cip1, c-Jun, the canonical NF-κB pathway, and the cell fate determination pathway protein DACH1.[8]

Pestell is the author of over 500 original publications, 36 books and chapters and over 200 published abstracts. He has been a member of 13 editorial boards and scientific journals. His work is highly cited, with more than 45,900 citations and an H-index of 115 .[8][10][11]

Pestell is the founder of two biotechnology companies (ProstaGene and LightSeed) and holds many patents in the areas of cancer diagnostics, therapeutics and technologies.

Pestell has been, or is, a member of 14 Journal Editorial Boards, more than 20 advisory or scientific review boards and funding agencies (UK, USA, Australia, Israel, Holland, Czech,, Italy, Poland, France), and the advisory board of domestic (7 NCI Cancer Centers), and international research and clinical institutes, (Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit (UK), Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry (Russia).

In 1984 Pestell had the peculiar distinction of winning the State running (5,000 meters track, 10,000 meters road) and walking championships (5,000 m, 20K and 50K). ,Pestell has two children, Timothy and Alex.

Professional Activities[edit]

Pestell has been or is a member of the advisory board of domestic and international research and clinical institutes, including Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit (UK), Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry (Russia).

Select publications[edit]

  • Fan, S., Wang, J., Yuan, R., Ma, Y., Meng, Q., Erdos, M.R., Pestell, R.G., Yuan, F., Auborn, K.J., Goldberg, I.D., and Rosen, E.M., BRCA1 inhibition of estrogen receptor signaling in transfected cells. Science. 1999 May 21; 284(5418): p. 1354-6.
  • Bromberg, J.F., Wrzeszczynska, M.H., Devgan, G., Zhao, Y., Pestell, R.G., Albanese, C., and Darnell, J.E., Jr., Stat3 as an oncogene. Cell. 1999 Aug 6; 98(3): p. 295-303.
  • Tazebay, U.H., Wapnir, I.L., Levy, O., Dohan, O., Zuckier, L.S., Zhao, Q.H., Deng, H.F., Amenta, P.S., Fineberg, S., Pestell, R.G., and Carrasco, N., The mammary gland iodide transporter is expressed during lactation and in breast cancer. Nat Med. 2000 Aug; 6(8): p. 871-8.
  • Tanaka, H., Matsumura, I., Ezoe, S., Satoh, Y., Sakamaki, T., Albanese, C., Machii, T., Pestell, R.G., and Kanakura, Y., E2F1 and c-Myc potentiate apoptosis through inhibition of NF-κB activity that facilitates MnSOD-mediated ROS elimination. Mol Cell. 2002 May; 9(5): p. 1017-29.
  • Huang, E., Ishida, S., Pittman, J., Dressman, H., Bild, A., Kloos, M., D'Amico, M., Pestell, R.G., West, M., and Nevins, J.R., Gene expression phenotypic models that predict the activity of oncogenic pathways. Nat Genet. 2003 Jun; 34(2): p. 226-30.
  • Genander, M., Halford, M.M., Xu, N.J., Eriksson, M., Yu, Z., Qiu, Z., Martling, A., Greicius, G., Thakar, S., Catchpole, T., Chumley, M.J., Zdunek, S., Wang, C., Holm, T., Goff, S.P., Pettersson, S., Pestell, R.G., Henkemeyer, M., and Frisen, J., Dissociation of EphB2 signaling pathways mediating progenitor cell proliferation and tumor suppression. Cell. 2009 Nov 13; 139(4): p. 679-92.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

2016 Doctorus Honorus Causa, University of Melbourne
2015 The Eric Susman Prize, Awarded by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians[8]
2014 Biotechnology Award, 2014 Advance Global Australian Awards [9]
2011 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science [10]
2010 RD Wright Medallion, University of Melbourne [7]
2010 Susan G. Komen for the Cure "Light of Life" Award [7]
2010 Raine Distinguished Professor [7]
2010 Elected Council Member, Interurban Clinical Club [11]
2009 Elected Fellow, College of Physicians of Philadelphia [12]
2009 Elected Honorary Fellow, American College of Physicians [7]
2008 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Western Australia [13]
2007 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine [7]
2005 Australia Endocrine Society, Keith Harrison Award [14]
2002 - 2005 Francis L. and Charlotte Gragnani Endowed Chair [1]
2002 Diane Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research [15]
2000 Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation [16]
1998 - 2002 Irma T. Hirschl Weil Caulier Career Scientist Award [3]
1991 - 1994 Neil Hamilton Fairley Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council [7]
1990 Winthrop Fellowship, Royal Australian College of Physicians [7]


  1. ^ a b c "Richard Pestell Named Director of Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson". AACI News. Association of American Cancer Institutes. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. 
  2. ^ KCC Director recognized for distinguished contributions to cancer care, News Medical, December 16, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Richard Pestell, M.D. Ph.D, FRACP". Life Science Advisors in the USA. Advance. 
  4. ^ Appointments, Washington Post, September 23, 2002
  5. ^ "History". Lombardi at a Glance. Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. 
  6. ^ "Spring/Summer 2004". Avon Foundation News. Avon Foundation. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD". Research in Action. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 
  8. ^ Physicians, The Royal Australasian College of. "The Royal Australasian College of Physicians". Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Biotechnology Award: Dr Richard Pestell". Special Broadcasting Service. 
  10. ^ "AAAS Members Elected as Fellows in 2011". Fellows. American Association for the Advance of Science. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Philadelphia". Members. Interurban Clinical Club. /
  12. ^ "Annual Report 2008-2009" (PDF). Welcome New Fellows. College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Biotech Science News: Richard G. Pestell". Biotech Science News. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Endocrine Society of Australia". The Endocrine Society of Australia. Archived from the original on April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Mark D'Amico; Kongming Wu; Maofu Fu; Mahadev Rao; Chris Albanese; Robert G. Russell; Hanzhou Lian; David Bregman; Michael White (June 15, 2004). "The Inhibitor of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4a/Alternative Reading Frame (INK4a/ARF) Locus Encoded Proteins p16INK4a and p19ARF Repress Cyclin D1 Transcription through Distinct cis Elements". Cancer Research. 64: 4122. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.can-03-2519. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  16. ^ Member profile, American Society for Clinical Investigation. Accessed June 11, 2011 Archived February 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 

External links[edit]