Photo: John M. Carethers, MD
John M. Carethers, MD
Year elected: 2008
Current membership category: Senior
University of Michigan Health System
Dept of Internal Medicine
1500 East Medical Center Drive
3101 TC, SPC 5368
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5368
United States of America
Phone: 734-615-1717
Facsimile: 734-232-3838

Honors and awards

American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2016)
National Academy of Medicine (2012)

Biographical statement

My research interests lie in the pathogenesis of colorectal neoplasms. A key area of focus is the clinical consequences of developing tumors with inactivation of the DNA mismatch repair system. My lab has investigated the effect of chemotherapeutic agents, particularly 5-fluorouracil, in patients and in cell models without an intact mismatch repair system, and has shown that the mismatch repair system binds to 5-fluorouracil that is incorporated into DNA and this recognition is a mode to mediate cellular toxicity. This has implications on the choice of therapy for patients with colorectal cancer based on the biology of the tumor in addition to staging. The lab also investigates differences in genomic instability based on race, as there are marked differences in colorectal cancer rates and mortality among different racial groups. The lab has focused on the TGFBR2 and ACVR2 genes that are targeted for mutation as a consequence of loss of DNA mismatch repair. In vitro and in vivo models have been generated to calculate accurate mutation rates for these genes in various mismatch repair-deficient backgrounds, as well as the effects of these target genes on contributing to the neoplastic process. As a consequence, my lab is also determining how TGFβ family members including BMP, activin, and TGFβ, convert from tumor suppression in early neoplasia to tumor proliferation in advanced cancers and metastasis.

Institutional affiliations

University of Michigan Medical School (Primary)
Elizabeth K. Speliotes, MD, PhD, MPH is the representative at this institution.


Internal Medicine

Positions held

Department Chair
Division Chief
Section Chief