Dawn M. Dawson, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Developmental Therapeutics Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dawn M. Dawson, MD, has been the co-director of the Immunohistochemistry (IHC) core facility since 2007. She has been the medical director of IHC for University Hospitals and a staff physician in the Department of Anatomic Pathology for the University Hospitals Medical Group from 2007 to 2013. In 2000, she became an assistant professor at the Institute of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University; from 1996 to 2000, she was an instructor at the Institute of Pathology. From 1989 to 1995, she was a resident in anatomic and clinical pathology for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She has also been a research assistant in cell culture and ultrastructural studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School from 1980 to 1985.

In 1999, Dr. Dawson received the AACR Pharmingen Young Investigator Award at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. In 2008, she earned the John R. Carter Award for Excellence in medical school teaching for her work in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Dawson earned her BS with honors in biology from Michigan State University in 1974. In 1989, she received her MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School. In 1995, she completed an AP/CP residency and fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In 2000, she completed her TROTC-fellowship from Case Western Reserve University.

Research Information

Research Interests

Dr. Dawson's research focuses on both growth factor/receptor cell signaling in early carcinogenesis models, in particular, members of the EGF receptor family active in colon cancer and the development of tissue-based micro-diagnostic methods for testing efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents targeting activated cell signaling proteins.

Awards and Honors

AACR Pharmingen Young Investigator Award
American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting


View All Publications

Dawson DM, Lawrence EG, MacLennan GT, Amini SB, Kung HJ, Robinson D, Resnick MI, Kursh ED, Pretlow TP, Pretlow TG. Altered expression of RET proto-oncogene product in prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 90:519-523, 1998.

Venkateswarlu S, Dawson DM, St. Clair P, Gupta A, Willson JKV, Brattain MG. Autocrine heregulin generates growth factor independence and blocks apoptosis in colon cancer cells. Oncogene 21:78-86, 2002.

Markowitz SD , Dawson DM, Willis JE, Willson JKV. Focus on colon cancer. Cancer Cell 1:233-236, 2002.

Brunschwig EB, Wilson K, Mack D, Dawson DM, Lawrence E, Willson JK, Lu S, Nosrati A, Rerko RM, Swinler S, Beard L, Lutterbaugh JD, Willis J, Platzer P, Markowitz S. PMEPA1, a transforming growth factor-beta- induced marker of terminal colonocyte differentiation whose expression is maintained in primary and metastatic colon cancer. Cancer Res 63:1568-1575, 2003.

Black JD, Brattain MG, Krishnamurthi S, Dawson DM, Willson JKV. ErbB family targeting. Curr Opin Investig Drugs 4:1451-1454, 2003.

Yan M, Rerko RM, Platzer P, Dawson D, Willis J, Tong M, Lawrence E, Lutterbaugh J, Lu S, Willson JKV, Luo G, Hensold J, Tai H-H, Wilson K, Markowitz S. 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase, a cyclooxygenase- 2 oncogene antagonist, is a TGF- b -induced suppressor of gastrointestinal cancers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 101(50):17468-73, 2004.

Chen W-D, Skoletsky J, Han J, Olso J, Myeroff L, Platzer P, Sah J, Lu S, Dawson D, Willis J, Pretlow T, Lutterbaugh J, Kasturi L, Willson JKV, Shuber A, Markowitz SD. Detection in fecal DNA of colon cancer specific methylation of the non-expressed vimentin gene. JNCI (in press, 2005).


Doctor of Medicine
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Bachelor of Science with honors
Michigan State University

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

TROTC Fellowship
Case Western Reserve University
Resident in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
Cleveland Clinic Foundation