Eric R. Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.

Eric Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Human Genetics
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Pathology
Director, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology
1504 BSRB, Box 2200
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 -2200

Administrative Contact

Lucia Baru

Areas of Interest

Molecular analysis of human cancer pathogenesis; β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling; transgenic and knockout mouse models of colorectal cancer; miRNAs and cancer; CDX2 homeobox gene function; factors and mechanisms regulating tissue stem cells and cell fate determination in intestinal epithelium.

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.

Honors & Awards

  • 2013 - Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
  • 2012 - Shapiro Lecture, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • 2007 - Johns Hopkins Univ Soc of Fellows
  • 2005 - DSR Sarma Lecturer in Oncologic Pathology, Univ Toronto
  • 2003 - Association of American Physicians
  • 2000 - Lynch Lecturer, University of Notre Dame, Dept of Biology
  • 1998 - American Society for Clinical Investigation (Vice-Pres, 2003-4; Pres-Elect, 2004-5; Pres, 2005-6)
  • 1992-95 - McDonnell Fellow in Molecular Medicine in Cancer Research, James S. McDonnell Fund
  • 1990 - Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (JHU School of Medicine)
  • 1990 - Wilson S. Stone Award, U. of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • 1983 - Phi Beta Kappa (Johns Hopkins Univ)


  • 1990 The Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. Biology/Program in Human Genetics
  • 1990 The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, M.D.
  • 1983 The Johns Hopkins University, B.A. Biophysics

Published Articles or Reviews

Feng Y, Bommer GT, Zhao J, Green M, Sands E, Zhai Y, Brown K, Burberry A, Cho KR, Fearon ER. Mutant Kras promotes hyperplasia and altered differentiation in colon epithelium but does not expand the presumptive crypt stem cell pool. Gastroenterology 2011, 141:1003-13.e10. PMC3163826.

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

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.

Mazzoni SM, Petty EM, Stoffel EM, Fearon ER. Neoplasia. 2015 May;17(5):463-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2015.04.006. An AXIN2 Mutant Allele Associated With Predisposition to Colorectal Neoplasia Has Context-Dependent Effects on AXIN2 Protein Function. PMC4468370.

Zhai Y, Kuick R, Tipton C, Wu R, Sessine M, Wang Z, Baker SJ, Fearon ER, Cho KR. Arid1a inactivation in an Apc- and Pten-defective mouse ovarian cancer model enhances epithelial differentiation and prolongs survival. J Pathol 2015, doi:10.1002/path.4599.

Zhang H. Ramakrishnan SK, Triner D, Centofanti B, Maitra D. Gyorffy B, Sebolt-Leopold JS, Dame MK, Varani J, Brenner DE, Fearon, ER, Omary MB Shah YM. Tumor-selective
proteotoxicity of verteporfin inhibits colon cancer progression independently of YA 1. Sci
Signal 2015, Oct 6;8(397):ra98. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aac5418. PMC4818013.

Feng Y, Sakamoto N, Wu R, Liu JY, Wiese A, Green ME, Green M, Akyol A, Roy BC, Zhai Y, Cho KR, Fearon ER. Tissue-specific effects of reduced b-catenin expression on
adenomatous polyposis coli mutation-instigated tumorigenesis in mouse colon and ovarian epithelium. PLoS Genet. 2015 Nov3:11(11):e1005638. Doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005638.
ecollection 2015 Nov. PMC4631511.

Hardiman KM, Ulintz PJ, Kuick, RD, Hovelson DH, Gates CM, Bhasi A, Rodrigues Grant A, Liu J. Cani AK, Greenson JK, Tomlins SA, Fearon ER. Intra-tumor genetic
heterogeneity in rectal cancer. Lab Invest 2015 Nov 16. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2015.131.

Pederson EA, Menon R, Bailey KM, Thomas DG, Van Noord RA, Tran J, Wang H, QU PP, Hoering A, Fearon ER, Chugh R, Lawlor ER. Activation of Wnt/β-Catenin in Ewing sarcoma cells antagonizes EWS/ETS function and promotes phenotypic transition to more metastatic cell states. Cancer Res. 2016 Sep 1;76(17):5040-5053: doi: 10.1158/0008-5472. CAN-15-3422. PMID: 27364557. PMCID: PMC5010452

XueX, Ramakrishnan SK, Weisz K, Triner D, Xie L, Attili D, Pant A, Gyorffy B, Zhan M, Carter-Su C, Hardiman KM, Wang TD, Dame MK, Varani J, Brenner D, Fearon ER, Shah YM. Iron uptake via DMT1 integrates cell cycle with JAK-STAT3 signaling to promote colorectal tumorigenesis. Cell Metab, 2016 Sep 13;24(3_:447-461. Doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.07.015. PMID: 27546461. PMCID: PMC5023486

Wu R, Zhai Y, Kuick R, Karnezis AN, Garcia P, Naseem A, Hu TC, Fearon ER, Cho KR. Impact of oviductal versus ovarian epithelial cell or origin on ovarian endometrioid carcinoma phenotype in the mouse. J Pathol. 2016 Nov;240(3):341-351. Doi: 10.1002/path.4783. PMID:27538791. PMCID: PMC5071155

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