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Stuart Aaronson

  • PROFESSOR Medicine
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  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley

  • University of Cambridge

  • M.D., University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

  • Moffitt Hospital


    Dr. Aaronson is an internationally recognized cancer biologist, who in early studies established the transformation-competent but replication defective nature of mammalian sarcoma viruses and molecularly cloned many of their oncogenes. He and colleagues implicated retroviral-related oncogenes in human cancer through investigations including the initial detection of their expression in human tumors and critical contributions to the demonstration of their involvement in human cancer. His investigations of the v-sis oncogene established the first normal function of an oncogene and the role of oncogenes in growth factor signaling. His discovery of erbB2 as a v-erbB-related gene amplified in a human breast carcinoma and demonstration of its transforming properties paved the way for targeted therapies directed against its product.

    He isolated KGF (FGF7), a growth factor with novel epithelial cell specificity and demonstrated its involvement in wound repair. Its successful phase III clinical trial by Amgen for treatment of mucositis, recently led the FDA to approve Kepivance (KGF) for treatment of this debilitating side effect of many cancer therapies. Thus, Dr. Aaronson's pioneering discoveries have directly led to new therapies for cancer patients.

    His development and application of stable expression cDNA cloning technology resulted in his identification of new human oncogenes, growth factor receptors, and other genes, which induce transformation or drug resistance. He and colleagues identified the protooncogene product, MET, as the receptor for HGF/Scatter Factor and LRP5/6 as the receptor for a novel Wnt antagonist, Dkk1. This latter discovery paved the way for his recent demonstration with colleagues of a Wnt autocrine transforming mechanism in human malignancies.

    Dr. Aaronson received his M.D. from UCSF in 1966. He joined the National Institutes of Health in 1967 and became Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute in 1977. He joined Mount Sinai in 1994 and is the Jack and Jane B. Aron Professor and Founding Chair, Emeritus of the Department of Oncological Sciences. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service, the Rhoads Memorial Award from the American Association of Cancer Research, and the Paul Erhlich Prize from Germany. He is the author of over 530 publications, an inventor on more than 50 patents, and serves on numerous editorial boards and scientific advisory committees.


  • 2013 -
    MSSM Faculty Council Lifetime Achievement Award
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • 2010 -
    Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei

  • 1991 -
    Harvey Lecture

  • 1991 -
    Chirone Prize

  • 1990 -
    Milken Award

  • 1989 -
    Paul Ehrlich Prize

  • 1989 -
    PHS Distinguished Service Medal

  • 1982 -
    PHS Meritorious Service Medal

  • 1982 -
    Rhoads Memorial Award

  • 1966 -
    Alpha Omega Alpha

  • 1962 -
    Phi BetaKappa


The laboratory of Stuart A. Aaronson, M.D., focuses on cancer gene discovery and function with emphasis on signaling pathways of growth factors including Wnts, PDGF, KGF (FGF-7), and HGF/scatter factor. His laboratory recently identified autocrine Wnt activation in human tumor cells of several tissue types and is studying the relationship of such tumors to stem/progenitor cells of the same tissues in which Wnt signaling helps to maintain the stem/progenitor phenotype. He is also investigating replicative senescence or permanent growth arrest, which appears to be a cell death program distinct from apoptosis, and which must be overcome to attain the immortalization of tumor cells.His laboratory recently uncovered a novel role of p53 in innate antiviral immunity, increasing the diversity of p53 functions that serve to facilitate host pro-survival mechanisms. The laboratory applies cDNA cloning technology and other functional genomic strategies to discover novel targets for cancer intervention.

RachaelAnn Garibsingh
Elizabeth Slocum

Postdoctoral Fellows:  Erica Benson, Martina Kracikova, Patrick Flynn, Maira Pires, Laura Llacuna, Davide Esposito, Albino Troilo

Satish Kumar Mungamuri

Assistant Professor:
Stefania Ascuitti

New York Academy of Sciences eBriefing: Digging for Therapeutic Gold


P L, A C, S A, T K, D B, L L, A M, S.A. A, H S, R P, E C. Design, Synthesis, Crystallographic Studies and Preliminary Biologica Appraisal of New Subsituted Triazolo [4,3-b[pyridazin-8-amine Derivatives as Tankyrase Inhibitors. J. Med. Chem 2014 Feb;.

Benson EK, Mungamuri SK, Attie O, Kracikova M, Sachidanandam R, Manfredi JJ, Aaronson SA. p53-dependent gene repression through p21 is mediated by recruitment of E2F4 repression complexes. Oncogene 2013 Oct;.

Mungamuri SK, Murk W, Grumolato L, Bernstein E, Aaronson SA. Chromatin modifications sequentially enhance ErbB2 expression in ErbB2-positive breast cancers. Cell reports 2013 Oct; 5(2).

Grumolato L, Liu G, Haremaki T, Mungamuri SK, Mong P, Akiri G, Lopez-Bergami P, Arita A, Anouar Y, Mlodzik M, Ronai ZA, Brody J, Weinstein DC, Aaronson SA. β-Catenin-independent activation of TCF1/LEF1 in human hematopoietic tumor cells through interaction with ATF2 transcription factors. PLoS genetics 2013; 9(8).

Hamard PJ, Barthelery N, Hogstad B, Mungamuri SK, Tonnessen CA, Carvajal LA, Senturk E, Gillespie V, Aaronson SA, Merad M, Manfredi JJ. The C terminus of p53 regulates gene expression by multiple mechanisms in a target- and tissue-specific manner in vivo. Genes & development 2013 Sep; 27(17).

Serysheva E, Berhane H, Grumolato L, Demir K, Balmer S, Bodak M, Boutros M, Aaronson S, Mlodzik M, Jenny A. Wnk kinases are positive regulators of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. EMBO reports 2013 Aug; 14(8).

Kracikova M, Akiri G, George A, Sachidanandam R, Aaronson SA. A threshold mechanism mediates p53 cell fate decision between growth arrest and apoptosis. Cell death and differentiation 2013 Apr; 20(4).

Shapiro M, Akiri G, Chin C, Wisnivesky JP, Beasley MB, Weiser TS, Swanson SJ, Aaronson SA. Wnt pathway activation predicts increased risk of tumor recurrence in patients with stage I nonsmall cell lung cancer. Annals of surgery 2013 Mar; 257(3).

Brown-Endres L, Schoenfeld D, Tian F, Kim HG, Namba T, Muñoz-Fontela C, Mandinova A, Aaronson SA, Lee SW. Expression of the p53 target CDIP correlates with sensitivity to TNFα-induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Cancer research 2012 May; 72(9).

Mungamuri SK, Benson EK, Wang S, Gu W, Lee SW, Aaronson SA. p53-mediated heterochromatin reorganization regulates its cell fate decisions. Nature structural & molecular biology 2012 May; 19(5).

Dai C, Tang Y, Jung SY, Qin J, Aaronson SA, Gu W. Differential effects on p53-mediated cell cycle arrest vs. apoptosis by p90. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011 Nov; 108(47).

Kim HG, Hwang SY, Aaronson SA, Mandinova A, Lee SW. DDR1 receptor tyrosine kinase promotes prosurvival pathway through Notch1 activation. The Journal of biological chemistry 2011 May; 286(20).

Muñoz-Fontela C, Pazos M, Delgado I, Murk W, Mungamuri SK, Lee SW, García-Sastre A, Moran TM, Aaronson SA. p53 serves as a host antiviral factor that enhances innate and adaptive immune responses to influenza A virus. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2011 Dec; 187(12).

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Aaronson during 2014 and/or 2015. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Scientific Advisory Board:

  • R-Pharm

Royalty Payments:

  • Abcam plc.; EMD Chemicals; Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (SOBI)

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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