Profile – A/Prof Ron Firestein

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Associate Professor Ron Firestein


Centre Head, Centre for Cancer Research
Associate Professor, Monash University
Consulting Pathologist, Monash Health
Research Group Head, Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics


Associate Professor Ron Firestein is a physician scientist, double-board certified in Pathology (Anatomic and Molecular Genetics). His laboratory at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research focuses on identifying new targets and developing therapies for colon cancer.

Associate Professor Firestein earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Biology and his M.D./Ph.D. from Stanford University as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). He completed residency in anatomic pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowships in molecular pathology and cancer genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute.

Prior to joining the Hudson Institute in August 2015 as head of the Centre for Cancer Research, Associate Professor Firestein led a basic research lab at Genentech Inc., where he focused on developing integrative genomic technologies to identify new therapeutic targets in solid tumour malignancies. 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.

Selected publications

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 (2014) An integrative analysis of colon cancer identifies an essential function for PRPF6 in tumor growth. Genes Dev 10:1068-1084.

Liu J, McCleland M, Stawiski E, Modrusan Z, Seshagiri S, Firestein R, Zhang Z (2014) Integrated exome and transcriptome sequencing reveals ZAK isoform usage in gastric cancer. Nature Commun 5:3830.

Adler AS, McCleland ML, Truong T, Lau S, Modrusan Z, Soukup TM, Roose-Girma M, Blackwood EM, Firestein R (2012) CDK8 maintains tumor dedifferentiation and embryonic stem cell pluripotency. Cancer Res 72:129-139.

Firestein R, Hahn WC (2009) Revving the throttle of an oncogene: CDK8 takes the driver seat. Cancer Res 69:7899-7901.

Firestein R, Bass AJ, Kim SY, Dunn IF, Silver SJ, Guney I, Freed E, Ligon AH, Vena N, Ogino S, Chheda MG, Tamayo P, Finn S, Shrestha Y, Boehm JS, Jain S, Bojarski E, Mermel C, Barretina J, Chan JA, Baselga J, Tabernero J, Root DE, Fuchs C, Loda M, Shivdasani RA, Meyerson M, Hahn WC (2008) CDK8 is a colorectal cancer oncogene that regulates beta-catenin. Nature 455:547-551.