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  • Dr. Kensuke Hirasawa, PhD


Associate Professor, Memorial University, St. John's


Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Research Interests:

Interferon, cellular signaling pathways, Ras/MEK, transcriptional regulators

Interferons (IFNs), which are produced inducibly by most cells in the body, have been used with clinical success in the treatment of several different types of cancers. However, the presence of cancer cells resistant to IFNs often reduces the treatment efficacy. We study aspects of the cancer cellular environment that reduce IFN’s efficacy to activate the antitumor machinery. Our research should provide a novel insight into the future development of effective IFN treatment to fight against cancer.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Hirasawa is a BHCRI Senior Scientist and has been a supervisor for a CRTP trainee.


(709) 777-8291




Room 1810, Health Sciences Centre, 300 Prince Philip Dr., St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3V6


Christian SL, Collier TW, Dong Z, Licursi M, Hough CM and Hirasawa K. Downregulation of STAT2 mediates the Ras/MEK pathway-induced inhibition of the IFN-alpha antiviral response. (2009) J. Virol. 83(13):6717-6727.

Battcock SM, Collier TW, Dong Z and Hirasawa K. Negative regulation of interferon-a induced antiviral responses by the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway. (2006) J. Virol., 80(9):4422-4430

Popadiuk C, Xiong J, Wells M, Andrew P, Dankwa K, Hirasawa K, Lake B and Kao KR. Antisense suppression of Pygopus2 results in proliferative growth arrest of epithelial ovarian cancer. (2006) Clinical Cancer Research, 12: 2216-2223.

Norman KL, Hirasawa K, Yang AD, Shields MA, Lee PW. Reovirus oncolysis: the Ras/RalGEF/p38 pathway dictates host cell permissiveness to reovirus infection. (2004) Pro Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(30):11099-104.

Hirasawa K, Jun HS, Han HS and Yoon JW. Effect of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in the replication of encephalomyocarditis virus. (2003) J. Virol., 77(10):5649-56.

Hirasawa K, Nishikawa SG, Norman KL and Lee PWK. Effective systematic reovirus therapy of metastatic cancer in immune-competent mice. (2003) Cancer Res.,63(2):348-53.

Hirasawa K, Nishikawa SG, Norman KL, Alain T, Kossakowska A and Lee PWK. Oncolytic reovirus against ovarian and colon cancer. (2002) Cancer Res. 62 (6) 1696-701.


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