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Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD

Director, Cancer Center & Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Chief, Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, BIDMC

George C. Reisman Professor of Medicine and Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Education, Training, Appointments

Pier Paolo Pandolfi received his MD in 1989 and his PhD in 1996 from the University of Perugia, Italy, after having studied philosophy at the University of Rome, Italy. He received post-graduate training at the National Institute for Medical Research and the University of London in the UK.

He became an Assistant Member of the Molecular Biology Program and the Department of Human Genetics at Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1994. Dr. Pandolfi grew through the ranks to become Member in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute; Professor of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University; Professor, Molecular Biology in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College at Cornell University; and Head of the Molecular and Developmental Biology Laboratories at MSKCC. Dr. Pandolfi was also the incumbent of the Albert C. Foster Endowed Chair for Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Pandolfi presently holds the Reisman Endowed Chair of Medicine and is Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. He serves as the Director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Cancer Research Institute; Director, Cancer Genetics Program; and Chief, Division of Genetics in the Department of Medicine, BIDMC, and is a Member of the Department of Pathology, BIDMC.


Dr. Pandolfi has received numerous awards in recognition of his achievements. He received the LLSA Scholar Award in 1997, the Alexandra J. Kefalides Prize for Leukemia Research in 1999, the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence 2000, the Lombroso Prize for Cancer Research of the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2001, and the LLSA Stohlman Scholar Award, in 2004. Further, in 2005, he was also awarded the NIH MERIT Award for superior competence and outstanding productivity in research, as well as the prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American Italian Cancer Foundation (AICF). In 2006, Dr. Pandolfi was elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians, and in 2007, he was elected an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. In 2011, he received the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) International Award for Cancer Research. His most recent awards include the Outstanding Investigator Award from the NIH/NCI, in 2015, and the Giuseppe Corradi Foundation Award in Medical Excellence, in 2017. Finally, as a citizen of both Italy and the United States, he received the Medal of Honor as “Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy” when he was “knighted” by the President of the Republic of Italy.

Research Interests

Genetics and biology of cancer

Basic Research

The research carried out in Dr. Pandolfi's laboratory has been seminal to elucidating the molecular mechanisms and the genetics underlying the pathogenesis of leukemias, lymphomas and solid tumors as well as in modeling these cancers in the mouse. Dr. Pandolfi and colleagues have characterized the function of the fusion oncoproteins and the genes involved in the chromosomal translocations of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), as well as of major tumor suppressors such as PTEN and p53, and novel cancer genes such as POKEMON and INPP4B.  The elucidation of the molecular basis underlying APL pathogenesis has led to the development of novel and effective therapeutic strategies. As a result of these efforts, APL is now considered a curable disease. Additional novel therapeutic concepts have emerged from this work and are currently being tested in clinical trials. More recently, Dr. Pandolfi and colleagues have presented a new theory describing how mRNAs, both coding and non-coding, exert their biological functions with profound implications for human genetics, cell biology and cancer biology.

Selected Recent Publications

View all 455 publications via PubMed »

  1. A. Matsumoto, A. Pasut, M. Matsumoto, R. Yamashita, J. Fung, E. Monteleone, A. Saghatelian, K.I. Nakayama, J.G. Clohessy, P.P. Pandolfi. “mTORC1 and muscle regeneration are regulated by the LINC00961-encoded SPAR polypeptide.” Nature. 2017, 541(7636):228-23.
  2. J. Guarnerio, M. Bezzi, J.C. Jeong, S.V. Paffenholz, K. Berry, M.M. Naldini, F. Lo-Coco, Y. Tay, A.H. Beck, P.P. Pandolfi. “Oncogenic Role of Fusion-circRNAs Derived from Cancer-Associated Chromosomal Translocations”. Cell. 2016, 165(2):289-302.
  3. F.A. Karreth, M. Reschke, A. Ruocco, C. Ng, B. Chapuy, V. Léopold, M. Sjoberg, T.M. Keane, A. Verma, U. Ala, Y. Tay, N. Seitzer, A. Bothmer, J. Fung, F. Langellotto, S.J. Rodig, O. Elemento, M.A. Shipp, D.J. Adams, R. Chiarle, P.P. Pandolfi. 2015. “The BRAF pseudogene functions as a competitive endogenous RNA and induces lymphoma in vivo.” Cell, 2015, 161(2):319-32.
  4. A. Papa, L. Wan, M. Bonora, L. Salmena, M.S. Song, R.M. Hobbs, A. Lunardi, K. Webster, C. Ng, R.H. Newton, N. Knoblauch, J. Guarnerio, K. Ito, L.A. Turka, A.H. Beck, P. Pinton, R.T. Bronson, W. Wei, P.P. Pandolfi. Cancer-associated PTEN mutants act in a dominant-negative manner to suppress PTEN protein function. Cell, 2014, 157(3): 595-610.
  5. S. J. Song, L. Poliseno, M.S. Song, U. Ala, L. Kats, G. Beringer, K. Webster, X. Yuan, J.E. Brock, A. L. Richardson, L. C. Cantley, P.P. Pandolfi.  MicroRNA-antagonism Regulates Breast Cancer Stemness and Metastasis via TET-Family-Dependent Chromatin Remodeling.  Cell, 2013, 154(2):311-24.
  6. I. Garcia-Cao, M.S. Song, R.M. Hobbs, G. Laurent, C. Giorgi, V.C.J. de Boer, D. Anastasiou, K. Ito, A. Sasaki, L. Rameh, A. Carracedo, M.G.Vander Heiden, L.C. Cantley, P. Pinton, M.C Haigis, P.P. Pandolfi. Systemic elevation of PTEN induces a tumor-suppressive metabolic state. Cell, 2012, 149(1):49-62.
  7. F.A. Karreth, Y. Tay, D. Perna, U. Ala, A.G. Rust, K.A. Webster, D. Weiss, P.A. Perez-Mancera, M. Krauthammer, R. Halaban, P. Provero, D.J. Adams, D.A. Tuveson and P.P. Pandolfi.  In vivo identification of tumor suppressive PTEN ceRNAs in an oncogenic BRAF-induced mouse model of melanoma. Cell, 2011, 147(2): 382-395.
  8. A.H. Berger, A.G. Knudson and P.P. Pandolfi. A continuum model for tumour suppression. Nature, 2011, 476(7359):163-9.
  9. Y. Tay, L. Kats, L. Salmena, D. Weiss, S.M. Tan, U. Ala, F. Karreth, L. Poliseno, P. Provero, F. Di Cunto, J. Lieberman, I. Rigoutsos and P.P. Pandolfi. Coding-independent regulation of the tumor suppressor PTEN by competing endogenous mRNAs. Cell, 2011, 147 (2): 344-357. Highlighted on cover.
  10. L. Salmena, L. Poliseno, Y. Tay, L. Kats and P.P. Pandolfi. The ceRNA hypothesis: the new Rosetta stone of a hidden RNA language. Cell, 2011, 146(3): 353-8.
  11. M.S. Song, A. Carracedo, L. Salmena, S.J. Song, A. Egia, M. Malumbres and P.P. Pandolfi. Nuclear PTEN regulates the APC-CDH1 tumor suppressive complex in a phosphatase-independent manner. Cell, 2010, 144(2):187-99.
  12. C. Giorgi, K. Ito, H-K. Lin, C. Santangelo, M. R. Wieckowski, M. Lebiedzinska, A. Bononi, M. Bonora, J. Duszynski, R. Bernardi, R. Rizzuto, C. Tacchetti, P. Pinton, P. P. Pandolfi. PML Regulates Apoptosis at Endoplasmic Reticulum Modulating Calcium Release. Science, 2010, 330(6008): 1247-51.
  13. L. Poliseno, L. Salmena, J. Zhang, B. Carver, W. J. Haveman , P.P. Pandolfi. A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogene mRNAs regulates tumour biology. Nature 2010, 465:1033-8.
  14. R.M. Hobbs, M. Seandel, I. Falciatori, S. Rafii, P.P. Pandolfi. Plzf Regulates Germline Progenitor Self-Renewal by Opposing mTORC1. Cell. 2010, 142(3):468-79.

Contact Information

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD
Division of Genetics
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
CLS Building, Room 401
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Lauren Southwood
Executive Assistant to Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi
P: 617-735-2145
F: 617-735-2120

Elizabeth Stack
Administrative Coordinator
Pandolfi Lab
P: 617-735-2860
F: 617-735-2120