Richard Cerione, PhD

Department of Molecular Medicine

Distinguished Professor of Arts and Science in Chemistry


Department of Molecular Medicine
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853
C3-155 Veterinary Medical Center

Office: 607.253.3888
Lab: 607.253.3883

Research Interest

The overall goals of our laboratory are to understand the signaling cues that regulate cell growth, differentiation, and development. Our laboratories in the Department of Molecular Medicine, and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology use a combination of biophysical, chemical, and genetic-based approaches to obtain a comprehensive picture of how growth factor receptors work together with their signaling partners, in particular Rho GTPases and the GTP-binding/acyl transferase, transglutaminase, to trigger signals that impact a wide range of cellular activities. X-ray crystallographic analysis is also being used to obtain detailed information regarding the protein interfaces involved in signaling interactions. The ultimate goal is to utilize the information obtained from our studies to design small molecules that will serve as powerful reagents for cellular studies, as well as for mouse model systems for cancer. Recently, two important areas of emphasis have been to identify and characterize protein-protein interactions that underlie the metabolic changes required for oncogenic transformation and the determination of the roles of non-traditional secretory vesicles (microvesicles, exosomes) in cancer progression and stem cell biology.


  • Ph D, Biochemistry, Rutgers University, 1979
  • BA, Biochemistry, Rutgers College, 1973

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2002-Present, Goldwin Smith Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Cornell University
  • 1998-Present, Full Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University
  • 1993-Present, Full Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University
  • 1990-1993, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
  • 1985-1990, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University
  • 1982-1985, Senior Research Associate, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center
  • 1979-1982, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Cornell University


  1. Boroughs, L., Antonyak, M., Cerione, R. (2014) A novel mechanism by which tissue transglutaminase activates signaling events that promote cell survival.. 289:10115-10125.
  2. Zhang, J., Antonyak, M., Singh, G., Cerione, R. (2013) A mechanism for the upregulation of EGF receptor levels in glioblastomas.. 3:2008-2020.
  3. Katt, W., Ramachandran, S., Erickson, J., Cerione, R. (2012) Dibenzophenanthridines as inhibitors of glutaminase C and cancer cell proliferation. 11:1269-1278.
  4. Li, B., Antonyak, M., Zhang, J., Cerione, R. (2012) RhoA triggers a specific signaling pathway that generates transforming microvesicles in cancer cells. 31:4740-4749.
  5. Antonyak, M., Li, B., Boroughs, L., Johnson, J., Druso, J., Bryant, K., Holowka, D., Cerione, R. (2011) Cancer cell-derived microvesicles induce transformation by transferring tissue transglutaminase and fibronectin to recipient cells. 108:4852-4857.

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Awards and Honors

  • 2013, Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, SUNY
  • 2009, American Association for Advancement of Science Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science
  • 2000, Frontiers Lecturer, Case Western University Medical Center
  • 1999, Eppley Distinguished Lectureship in Cancer Research, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • 1986-1990, PEW Foundation Biomedical Scholar Award, PEW Foundation
  • 1979-1982, National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health
  • 1979, American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship Award , American Cancer Society

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


  • 2014, Juror for Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists, Member
  • 2005, Macromolecular Crystallography at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (MacCHESS), Principal Investigator
  • 2013, Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program, Weill Cancer Institute, Co-director
  • 2007-2011, NIH Study Section, Molecular Integrative Signal Transduction, Member
  • 2001-2008, Scientific Advisory Board Gene Network Sciences, Member
  • 1996-2000, NIH Study Section, Cell Biology and Physiology, Member
  • 1998, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, Review Committee
  • 1991-1997, Scientific Advisory Board of Cornell Biotechnology Institute, Member
  • 1996, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Program Study Section, Member