Eric R. Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.
Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology
Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Pathology



Lab address:
1628, 1638 BSRB

Research Interests

Molecular analysis of cancer pathogenesis; βeta-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling; transgenic and knockout mouse models of colon cancer; miRNAs and cancer; CDX2 homeobox gene function.

The research in the Fearon laboratory seeks to address the means by which specific oncogene and tumor suppressor gene defects contribute to the pathogenesis of colon and other cancers and to develop novel strategies for early detection and treatment of colorectal adenomas and carcinomas.


1975-1979 Mount Blue High School, Farmington, Maine
1979-1983 The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; B.A. (Biophysics)
1983-1990 The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; M.D.
1985-1990 The Johns Hopkins University; Ph.D. (Biology/Program in Human Genetics; mentor - Dr. Bert Vogelstein)

Postdoctoral Training

1990-1992 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Hematology Division, Dept. of Medicine & the Oncology Center (mentor - Dr. Chi Van Dang)

Honors and Awards

1983 Phi Beta Kappa (Johns Hopkins University)
1983 Martin G. Larrabee undergraduate prize for research in biophysics, Johns Hopkins University
1990 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
1990 David Israel Macht Prize for Basic Science Research (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
1990 Wilson S. Stone Award, UT, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
1992-1995  McDonnell Fellow in Molecular Medicine in Cancer Research, James S. McDonnell Fund
1994 Ruppert B. Turnbull Memorial Lectureship, Visiting Professor, Department of Surgery, Jewish Hospital of St. Louis and Washington University School of Medicine
1996 Louis J. Cole Lecture, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
1997 Co-Organizer, Keystone Syposium on “Genetics of Human Cancer: Pathogenesis and Diagnosis”
1998 American Society for Clinical Investigation
2000 Lynch Lectureship, University of Notre Dame, Department of Biology, Molecular Biosciences Program
2001 Vice Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Cancer (Newport, RI)
2002 Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Cancer (Newport, RI)
2001 Association of American Physicians
2005 Third Annual DSR Sarma Lectureship in Oncologic Pathology, University of Toronto
2007 Johns Hopkins University Society of Fellows
2009 Co-organizer, Keystone Symposium on “Emerging Themes in Tumor Suppressors: Function and Clinical Implications in the Post-Genomic Era”
2012 Shapiro Lecture, University of Pennsylvania, Division of Gastroenterology
2013 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Recent Publications

Dou W, Mukherjee S, Li H, Venkatesh M, Wang H, Kortagere S, Peleg A, Chilimuri SS, Wang ZT, Feng Y, Fearon ER, Mani S. Alleviation of gut inflammation by Cdx2/Pxr pathway in a mouse model of chemical colitis. PLoS One 2012, 7:e36075. PMC3398007

Wu ZQ, Brabletz T, Fearon E, Willis AL, Hu CY, Li XY, Weiss SJ. The canonical Wnt suppressor, Axin2, promotes colon carcinoma oncogenic activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012, 109:11312-7. PMC3396472

Miller SJ, Heist KA, Feng Y, Galban CJ, Rehemtulla A, Ross BD, Fearon ER, Wang TD. Multi-modal imaging of growth and rapamycin-induced regression of colonic adenomas in Apc mutation-dependent mouse. Translational Oncology 2012, 5:313-20. PMC3468922

Girvennikov SI, Wang K, Mucida D, Stewart CA, Schnabl B, Jauch D, Taniguchi K, Yu GY, Osterreicher CH, Hung KE, Datz C, Feng Y, Fearon ER, Oukka M, Tessarollo L, Coppola V, Yarovinsky F, Cheroute H, Eckmann L, Trinchieri G, Karin M. Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth. Nature 2012, 491:254-8. PMC3601659

Blij S, Frum T, Akyol A, Fearon E, Ralston A. Maternal Cdx2 is dispensable for mouse development. Development 2012, 39:3969-72. PMC3472595

Wu R, Baker SJ, Hu TC, Norman KM, Fearon ER, Cho KR. Type I to type II ovarian carcinoma progression: mutant Trp53 or Pik3ca confers a more aggressive tumor phenotype in a mouse model of ovarian cancer. Am J Pathol 2013, 182:1391-9. PMC3620412

Feng Y, Sentani K, Wiese A, Sands E, Green M, Bommer GT, Cho KR, Fearon ER. Sox9 induction, ectopic Paneth cells, and mitotic spindle axis defects in mouse colon adenomatous epithelium arising from conditional biallelic Apc inactivation. Am J Pathol 2013, 183:493-503. PMC3730784

Zeller J, Turbiak AJ, Powelson IA, Lee S, Sun D, Showalter HD, Fearon ER. Investigation of 3-aryl-pyrimido(5,4-e]triazine-5,7-diones as small molecule antagonists of beta-catenin/TCF transcription. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013, 23:5814-20. PMC3896216

Manna SK, Tanaka N, Krausz KW, Haznadar M, Xue X, Matsubara T, Bowman ED, Fearon ER, Harris CC, Shah YM, Gonzalez FJ. Biomarkers of coordinate reprogramming in colorectal tumors of mice and human. Gastroenterology 2014 146:1313-24. PMC3992178

Hardiman KM, Liu J, Feng Y, Greenson JK, Fearon ER. Rapamycin inhibition of polyposis and progression to dysplasia in a mouse model. PLoS One 2014, Apr 24; 9(4):e96023. PMC3999114.

Adler MS, CcCleland 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 tumor growth. Genes Dev 2014, 28:1068-84. PMC4035536.

Wang K, Kim MK, Di Caro G, Wong J, Shalapour S, Wan J, Zhang W, Zhong Z, Sanchez-Lopoez E, Wu LW, Taniguchi K, Feng Y, Fearon E, Grivennikov SI, Karin M. Interleukin-17 receptor A signaling in transformed enterocytes promotes early colorectal tumorigenesis. Immunity 2014, 18:1052-63. PMC4272447.

Gibbons GS, Owens WR, Fearon ER, Nikolvska-Coleska Z. Regulation of Wnt signaling target genee expression by the histone methyltransferase DOT1L. ACS Chem Biol 2015 Jan 16;10(1):109-14. doi: 10.1021/cb500668u.  PMID: 25361163.

Updated: March 2015