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Richard G. Pestell is an American physician currently employed as Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an NCI-designated Cancer Center. Dr. Pestell has authored more than 270 original publications and book chapters and more than 175 published abstracts. His papers have been published in outstanding peer reviewed journals including Cell (journal), Science (journal), Nature Medicine, and EMBO. His work is highly cited - more than 10,000 citations. In March 2002 he was ranked first in increased impact in the World for Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Genetics by Thomson ISI.
A native of Australia, Dr. Pestell completed his MD from the University of Western Australia and his PhD at the University of Melbourne. At Royal Perth Hospital he undertook clinical training in Hematology/Oncology and Endocrinology. His experience with patients while working with bone marrow transplants was a pivotal point in his career, from which time forward Dr. Pestell, devoted himself to finding selective non-toxic therapies and cures for patients with cancer.
With a traveling scholar award from Royal Australian College of Physicians Winthrop and as a Neil Hamilton Fairley Scholar (1991-1994) he continued research at Harvard University and served as Clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Since that time Dr. Pestell has made significant contributions to understanding cancer-identifying cell cycle regulation and the aberrations that can lead to cells turning cancerous and metastatic. His work is aimed at identifying molecular markers of pre-malignant disease to develop preventive approaches to cancer. His laboratory focuses on the new field of “commandeering” genes that reprogram cancerous cells to be non-cancerous. Dr. Pestell has also developed and patented a light-activated gene therapy that specifically targets cancerous cells at a single cell level, reducing side effects from common cancer therapies.