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

Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (Current)

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center

Albert Einstein Cancer Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Alma mater

Massachusetts General Hospital (Postdoctoral Clinical and Research Fellow in Medicine)

Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Medicine)

University of Melbourne (M.D., Ph.D.)

University of Western Australia (M.B.B.S.)
Notable awards

Biotechnology Award, Advance Global Australian Awards (2014)

Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011)

RD Wright Medallion, University of Melbourne (2010)

Susan G. Komen for the Cure “Light of Life” Award (2010)

Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Western Australia (2008)

Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine (2007)

Francis L. and Charlotte Gragnani Endowed Chair (2002-2005)

Richard G. Pestell is an oncologist and endocrinologist who currently serves as an 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 received his M.B.B.S. in 1981 from the University of Western Australia, and his M.D. and Ph.D. in 1991 and 1997, respectively, from the University of Melbourne.[4] He was a postdoctoral clinical and research fellow in medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, respectively, from 1991 to 1993.[1][3]

Following his postdoctoral research, Pestell was 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, Pestell left Chicago to become an associate professor, and later professor, in the Department of Medicine and Developmental and Molecular Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, New York. Pestell would later serve 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 at the Georgetown University Medical Center.[3][5] During this tenure, Pestell also served as Associate Vice President of the Georgetown University Medical Center, and the Francis L. and Charlotte Gragnani Chair 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 successful effort for renewal of its National Cancer Institute designation,[6] and founded the Capital Breast Care Center with Andrea Jung of the Avon Foundation.[7] In 2005, Pestell was named President of the USA branch of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, and held that position until 2010. Pestell additionally served as the founding Director for the Delaware Valley Institute for Clinical and Translational Science from 2008 to 2010.[8]

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.[8][9]

His laboratory was the first to show 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 that this was a general mechanism conserved among nuclear receptors that affect diverse biological processes.[8]

In the cell cycle field, Pestell's 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]

In breast cancer stem cell research, his laboratory was the first to define 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 also the author of more than 550 publications, including over 375 original publications, and sits on the editorial boards of a number of journals. His work is well cited, with over 38,000 citations.[8][10][11]

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]

Year(s) Award
2014 Biotechnology Award, 2014 Advance Global Australian Awards [12]
2011 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science [13]
2010 RD Wright Medallion, University of Melbourne [8]
2010 Susan G. Komen for the Cure “Light of Life” Award [8]
2010 Raine Distinguished Professor [8]
2010 Elected Council Member, Interurban Clinical Club [14]
2009 Elected Fellow, College of Physicians of Philadelphia [15]
2009 Elected Honorary Fellow, American College of Physicians [8]
2008 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Western Australia [16]
2007 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine [8]
2005 Australia Endocrine Society, Keith Harrison Award [17]
2002 - 2005 Francis L. and Charlotte Gragnani Endowed Chair [1]
2002 Diane Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research [18]
2000 Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation [19]
1998 - 2002 Irma T. Hirschl Weil Caulier Career Scientist Award [3]
1991 - 1994 Neil Hamilton Fairley Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council [8]
1990 Winthrop Fellowship, Royal Australian College of Physicians [8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Richard Pestell Named Director of Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson". AACI News. Association of American Cancer Institutes. 
  2. ^ KCC Director recognized for distinguished contributions to cancer care, News Medical, December 16, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Richard Pestell, M.D. Ph.D, FRACP". Life Science Advisors in the USA. Advance. 
  4. ^ a b "Richard G. Pestell Named Director of Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center". Newswise. Newswise, Inc. 
  5. ^ Appointments, Washington Post, September 23, 2002
  6. ^ "History". Lombardi at a Glance. Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. 
  7. ^ "Spring/Summer 2004". Avon Foundation News. Avon Foundation. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Richard G. Pestell, MD, PhD". Research in Action. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 
  9. ^ a b Gene controls cancer spread, BBC News, March 1, 2003.
  10. ^ " Search Results: Pestell RG". US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Google Scholar Profile: Richard G. Pestell". Google Scholar. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Biotechnology Award: Dr Richard Pestell". Special Broadcasting Service. 
  13. ^ "AAAS Members Elected as Fellows in 2011". Fellows. American Association for the Advance of Science. 
  14. ^ "Philadelphia". Members. Interurban Clinical Club. /
  15. ^ "Annual Report 2008-2009" (PDF). Welcome New Fellows. College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 
  16. ^ "Biotech Science News: Richard G. Pestell". Biotech Science News. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Endocrine Society of Australia". The Endocrine Society of Australia. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ Member profile, American Society for Clinical Investigation. Accessed June 11, 2011

External links[edit]