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

Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Pathology
Director, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology
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Eric R. Fearon, M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Fearon received his undergraduate, medical, and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, he was a faculty member at Yale University School of Medicine. Since 1995, Dr. Fearon has served as the Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology, and he was appointed as Director of the UMCCC in 2016. The UMCCC was renamed the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in 2018. Dr. Fearon has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and more than 60 review/editorial articles and book chapters. He has pursed research in the cancer genetics field, particularly investigations of gene defects that underlie colon and rectal tumor development and progression to advanced stages.

Research Interests

Molecular analysis of cancer pathogenesis; β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling; transgenic and knockout mouse models of colon cancer; miRNAs and cancer; Sox9 gene function;
colon tissue stem cells; clonal evolution and clonal competition/cooperation in metastasis
The research in the Fearon laboratory seeks to address the means by which oncogene and tumor suppressor gene defects contribute to the development and metastatic spread of colon and other cancers, as well as efforts to develop novel strategies for early detection and treatment of benign and malignant colorectal tumors.

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
1998 American Society for Clinical Investigation
2000 Lynch Lectureship, University of Notre Dame, Department of Biology, Molecular
Biosciences Program
2003 Association of American Physicians
2005 Third Annual DSR Sarma Lectureship in Oncologic Pathology, University of
2007 Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars
2012 Shapiro Lecture, Division of Gastroenterology, Perelman School of Medicine at
the University of Pennsylvania
2013 National Academy of Medicine
2014 University of Michigan Medical School League of Research Excellence
2015 Harrison Society/Riven Lectureship, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
2015 University of Michigan Medical School Distinguished Faculty Lectureship in
Biomedical Research
2017 Ronald B Herberman, MD Lectureship, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
2018 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science


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. PMCID: PMC3730784

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.
PMCID: PMC3999114.

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

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 beta-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. PMCID: 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.
PMCID: PMC4695247.

Sakamoto N, Feng Y, Stolfi C, Kurosu Y, Green M, Lin J, Green ME, Sentani K, Yasui W,
McMahon M, Hardiman KM, Spence JR, Horita N, Greenson JK, Kuick R, Cho KR, Fearon
ER. BRAF V600E cooperates with CDX2 inactivation to promote serrated colorectal
tumorigenesis. Elife. 2017 Jan 10;6. pii: e20331. doi: 10.7554/elife.20331. PMID:
28072391. PMCID: PMC5268782

Akyol A, Güner G, Özşeker HS, Işık A, Atcı Ö, Uzun S, Atayar E, Ozaltin F, Gedikoğlu G,
S.kmensüer C, Fearon ER. An immunohistochemical approach to detect oncogenic
CTNNB1 mutations in primary neoplastic tissues. Lab Invest. 2019, 99:128-137.
Doi10.1038/s41374-018-0121-9. PMID: 30177831.

Tang J, Feng Y, Kuick R, Green M, Green M, Sakamoto N, Kurosu Y, Lin J, Cho KR,
Fearon ER. Trp53ull and R270H mutant alleles have comparable effects in regulating
invasion, metastasis and gene expression in mouse colon tumorigenesis. Lab Invest 2019,
99:1454-1469. PMID: 31148594. PMCID: PMC6759392.

Fearon ER. Cancer: Context is key for E-cadherin in invasion and metastasis. Curr Biol
2019, 29:R1140-R1142. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.054. PMID: 31689402.

Chen L, Zhai Y, Wang Y, Fearon ER, Nunez G, Inohara N, Cho KR. Altering the
microbiome inhibits tumorigenesis in a mouse model of oviductal high-grade serous
carcinoma. Cancer Res 2021; doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-0106. PMID 33863776