Professor John Rasko AO

Medicine, Central Clinical School
Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine & Cell Biology

D06 - Blackburn Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9565 6100
F: +61 2 9565 6101
W: Related website

Biographical details

BSc(Med), MBBS(Hons), PhD, FRCPA, FRACP Director, Cell and Molecular Therapies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Head, Gene & Stem Cell Therapy, Centenary Institute Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

Research interests

Professor Rasko is an Australian pioneer in the application of adult stem cells and genetic therapy. He directs the Department of Cell and Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and heads the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney.

John Rasko is a clinical hematologist, pathologist and scientist with a productive track record in gene and stem cell therapy, experimental haematology and molecular biology. In over 140 publications he has made major contributions to the understanding of stem cells and haemopoiesis, gene transfer technologies, oncogenesis, human aminoacidurias and non-coding RNAs.

He serves on Hospital, state and national bodies including Chair of GTTAC, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator – responsible for regulating all genetically-modified organisms in Australia - and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Biologicals, Therapeutic Goods Administration. Contributions to scientific organisations include co-founding (2000) and past-President (2003-5) of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society; Vice President, International Society for Cellular Therapy (2008-12) and founder (2009) ISCT-Australia; Scientific Advisory Committees and Board member for philanthropic foundations; and several Ethics Committees. He is the recipient of national and international awards in recognition of his commitment to excellence in medical research, including appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Teaching areas

John Rasko supervises five doctoral students and has supervised well over a dozen successful postgraduate students, some of whom now head their own laboratories. He delivers regular lectures in the Faculties of Science and Medicine as well as a popular introductory lecture in Haematology for the Central Clinical School. He mentors postdoctoral researchers for career development, and Haematology trainees for the RACP/RCPA. He is a widely-sought speaker for seminars and the media in bringing research to a broader audience.

Current national competitive grants*


Designer DNA-binding proteins targeting methylated DNA for research and therapeutic purposes
Mackay J, Segal D, Rasko J
NHMRC Project Grants ($563,675 over 3 years)

Development of a treatment algorithm for kinase inhibitor therapy in CML
Rasko J
University of Adelaide Shared Research Support ($220,365 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney


Cell biology; Haematological malignancy; Medical history; Haematology; Genetic diseases


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009


  • Lim, S., Becker, T., Chua, W., Caixeiro, N., Ng, W., Kienzle, N., Tognela, A., Lumba, S., Rasko, J., de Souza, P., Spring, K. (2014), Circulating Tumour Cells and Circulating Free Nucleic Acid as Prognostic and Predictive Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Letters. 346, 24-33. [Abstract]
  • Marshall, A., Bailey, C., Rasko, J. (2014), CTCF and BORIS in genome regulation and cancer. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. 24C, 8-15. [Abstract]
  • Hussein, S., Puri, M., Tonge, P., Benevento, M., Corso, A., Clancy, J., Mosbergen, R., Li, M., Lee, D., Cloonan, N., Wood, D., Munoz, J., Middleton, R., Korn, O., Patel, H., White, C., Shin, J., Gauthier, M., Le Cao, K., Kim, J., Mar, J., Shakiba, N., Ritchie, W., Rasko, J., Grimmond, S., Zandstra, P., Wells, C., Preiss, T., Seo, J., Heck, A., Rogers, I., Nagy, A. (2014), Genome-wide characterization of the routes to pluripotency. Nature. 516(7530), 198-206. [Abstract]
  • Wong, J., Lau, K., Pinello, N., Rasko, J. (2014), Epigenetic modifications of splicing factor genes in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Science. 105(11), 1457-1463. [Abstract]
  • Wang, Q., Grkovic, T., Font, J., Bonham, S., Pouwer, R., Bailey, C., Moran, A., Ryan, R., Rasko, J., Jormakka, M., Quinn, R., Holst, J. (2014), Monoterpene Glycoside ESK246 from Pittosporum Targets LAT3 Amino Acid Transport and Prostate Cancer Cell Growth. ACS chemical biology. 9(6), 1369-1376. [Abstract]
  • Wright, C., Velickovic, Z., Brown, R., Larsen, S., Macpherson, J., Gibson, J., Rasko, J. (2014), Raising the standard: changes to the Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) for human blood and blood components, human tissues and human cellular therapy products. Pathology. 46(3), 177-183. [Abstract]
  • Ritchie, W., Rasko, J. (2014), Refining microRNA target predictions: sorting the wheat from the chaff. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 445(4), 780-784. [Abstract]
  • Macpherson, J., Rasko, J. (2014), Clinical potential of gene therapy: towards meeting the demand. Internal Medicine Journal. 44(3), 224-233. [Abstract]
  • Wang, Q., Beaumont, K., Otte, N., Font, J., Bailey, C., van Geldermalsen, M., Sharp, D., Tiffen, J., Ryan, R., Jormakka, M., Haass, N., Rasko, J., Holst, J. (2014), Targeting glutamine transport to suppress melanoma cell growth. International Journal of Cancer. 135(5), 1060-1671. [Abstract]
  • Clancy, J., Patel, H., Hussein, S., Tonge, P., Cloonan, N., Corso, A., Li, M., Lee, D., Shin, J., Wong, J., Bailey, C., Benevento, M., Munoz, J., Chuah, A., Wood, D., Rasko, J., Heck, A., Grimmond, S., Rogers, I., Seo, J., Wells, C., Puri, M., Nagy, A., Preiss, T. (2014), Small RNA changes en route to distinct cellular states of induced pluripotency. Nature Communications. 5, 5522. [Abstract]
  • Wong, J., Ritchie, W., Gao, D., Lau, K., Gonzalez, M., Choudhary, A., Taft, R., Rasko, J., Holst, J. (2014), Identification of nuclear-enriched miRNAs during mouse granulopoiesis. Journal of Hematology & Oncology. 7(1), 42. [Abstract]


  • Khoo, T., Xiros, N., Guan, F., Orellana, D., Holst, J., Joshua, D., Rasko, J. (2013), Performance evaluation of the Abbott CELL-DYN Emerald for use as a bench-top analyzer in a research setting. International Journal of Laboratory Hematology. 35(4), 447-456. [Abstract]
  • Wang, Q., Tiffen, J., Bailey, C., Lehman, M., Ritchie, W., Fazli, L., Metierre, C., Feng, Y., Li, E., Gleave, M., Buchanan, G., Nelson, C., Rasko, J., Holst, J. (2013), Targeting Amino Acid Transport in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Effects on Cell Cycle, Cell Growth, and Tumor Development. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 105(19), 1463-1473. [Abstract]
  • Gao, D., Middleton, R., Rasko, J., Ritchie, W. (2013), miREval 2.0: a web tool for simple microRNA prediction in genome sequences. Bioinformatics. 29(24), 3225-3226. [Abstract]
  • Wong, J., Ritchie, W., Ebner, O., Selbach, M., Wong, J., Huang, Y., Gao, D., Pinello, N., Gonzalez, M., Baidya, K., Thoeng, A., Khoo, T., Bailey, C., Holst, J., Rasko, J. (2013), Orchestrated intron retention regulates normal granulocyte differentiation. Cell. 154(3), 583-595. [Abstract]
  • Gordon, J., Wong, J., Rasko, J. (2013), MicroRNAs in myeloid malignancies. British Journal of Haematology. 162(2), 162-176. [Abstract]
  • Tiffen, J., Bailey, C., Marshall, A., Metierre, C., Feng, Y., Wang, Q., Watson, S., Holst, J., Rasko, J. (2013), The cancer-testis antigen BORIS phenocopies the tumor suppressor CTCF in normal and neoplastic cells. International Journal of Cancer. 133(7), 1603-1613. [Abstract]
  • Levesque, J., Winkler, I., Rasko, J. (2013), Nichotherapy for stem cells: there goes the neighborhood. BioEssays. 35(3), 183-190. [Abstract]
  • Ritchie, W., Rasko, J., Flamant, S. (2013), MicroRNA Target Prediction and Validation. In: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Vol 774: MicroRNA Cancer Regulation. (pp.39-54).Germany: Springer.
  • Larkin, T., Pages, G., Chapman, B., Rasko, J., Kuchel, P. (2013), NMR q-space analysis of canonical shapes of human erythrocytes: stomatocytes, discocytes, spherocytes and echinocytes. European Biophysics Journal. 42(1), 3-16. [Abstract]


  • Ritchie, W., Gao, D., Rasko, J. (2012), Defining and providing robust controls for microRNA prediction. Bioinformatics. 28(8), 1058-1061. [Abstract]
  • Ritchie, W., Rasko, J. (2012), Integrated miRNA expression analysis and target prediction. In: Methods in Molecular Biology: Next-Generation MicroRNA Expression Profiling Technology Methods and Protocols. (pp.289-293).United States: Springer.


  • Balamatsias, D., Kong, A., Waters, J., Sriratana, A., Gurung, R., Bailey, C., Rasko, J., Tiganis, T., Macaulay, S., Mitchell, C. (2011), Identification of P-Rex1 as a novel Rac1-guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that promotes actin remodeling and GLUT4 protein trafficking in adipocytes. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(50), 43229-43240. [Abstract]
  • Wang, Q., Bailey, C., Ng, C., Tiffen, J., Thoeng, A., Minhas, V., Lehman, M., Hendy, S., Buchanan, G., Nelson, C., Rasko, J., Holst, J. (2011), Androgen receptor and nutrient signaling pathways coordinate the demand for increased amino acid transport during prostate cancer progression. Cancer research. 71(24), 7525-36. [Abstract]
  • Power, C., Rasko, J. (2011), Promises and challenges of stem cell research for regenerative medicine. Annals of Internal Medicine. 155(10), 706-713. [Abstract]
  • Macpherson, J., Rasko, J. (2011), Cellular therapy in the Asia-Pacific region. A guide for the future pathologist. Pathology. 43(6), 616-26. [Abstract]
  • Rasko, J. (2011), Future Path: frontiers of molecular and cellular pathology. Pathology. 43(6), 523-524. [Abstract]
  • Both, G., Alexander, I., Fletcher, S., Nicolson, T., Rasko, J., Wilton, S., Symonds, G. (2011), Gene therapy: therapeutic applications and relevance to pathology. Pathology. 43(6), 642-56. [Abstract]
  • To, L., Levesque, J., Herbert, K., Winkler, I., Bendall, L., Hiwase, D., Antonenas, V., Rice, A., Gottlieb, D., Mills, A., Rasko, J., Larsen, S., Beligaswatte, A., Nilsson, S., Cooney, J., Cambareri, A., Lewis, I. (2011), Mobilisation strategies for normal and malignant cells. Pathology. 43(6), 547-565. [Abstract]
  • Herbert, K., Levesque, J., Mills, A., Gottlieb, D., Cooney, J., Szer, J., Rasko, J., To, L. (2011), How we mobilize haemopoietic stem cells. Internal Medicine Journal. 41(8), 588-594. [Abstract]
  • Bröer, A., Juelich, T., Vanslambrouck, J., Tietze, N., Solomon, P., Holst, J., Bailey, C., Rasko, J., Bröer, S. (2011), Impaired Nutrient Signaling and Body Weight Control in a Na+ Neutral Amino Acid Cotransporter (Slc6a19)-deficient Mouse. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(30), 26638-26651. [Abstract]
  • Power, C., Rasko, J. (2011), Will cell reprogramming resolve the embryonic stem cell controversy? A narrative review. Annals of Internal Medicine. 155(2), 114-121. [Abstract]
  • Choi, P., Rasko, J. (2011), The challenge of investigating thrombocytopenia. Medicine Today. 12(2), 26-35.
  • Bailey, C., Ryan, R., Thoeng, A., Ng, C., King, K., Vanslambrouck, J., Auray-Blais, C., Vandenberg, R., Bröer, S., Rasko, J. (2011), Loss-of-function mutations in the glutamate transporter SLC1A1 cause human dicarboxylic aminoaciduria. The Journal of clinical investigation. 121(1), 446-53. [Abstract]


  • Holst, J., Watson, S., Lord, M., Eamegdool, S., Bax, D., Nivison-Smith, L., Kondyurin, A., Ma, L., Oberhauser, A., Weiss, A., Rasko, J. (2010), Substrate elasticity provides mechanical signals for the expansion of hemopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Nature biotechnology. 28(10), 1123-8. [Abstract]
  • Sen, S., Merchan, J., Dean, J., Ii, M., Gavin, M., Silver, M., Tkebuchava, T., Yoon, Y., Rasko, J., Aikawa, R. (2010), Autologous transplantation of endothelial progenitor cells genetically modified by adeno-associated viral vector delivering insulin-like growth factor-1 gene after myocardial infarction. Human gene therapy. 21(10), 1327-1334. [Abstract]
  • Einecke, G., Kayser, D., Vanslambrouck, J., Sis, B., Reeve, J., Mengel, M., Famulski, K., Bailey, C., Rasko, J., Halloran, P. (2010), Loss of solute carriers in T cell-mediated rejection in mouse and human kidneys: an active epithelial injury-repair response. American Journal of Transplantation. 10(10), 2241-2251. [Abstract]
  • Tang, C., Russell, P., Martiniello-Wilks, R., Rasko, J., Khatri, A. (2010), Nanoparticles and Cellular Carriers - Allies in Cancer Imaging and Cellular Gene Therapy?. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio). 28(9), 1686-702. [Abstract]
  • Flamant, S., Ritchie, W., Guilhot, J., Holst, J., Bonnet, M., Chomel, J., Guilhot, F., Turhan, A., Rasko, J. (2010), Micro-RNA response to imatinib mesylate in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Haematologica. 95(8), 1325-33. [Abstract]
  • Taft, R., Simons, C., Nahkuri, S., Oey, H., Korbie, D., Mercer, T., Holst, J., Ritchie, W., Wong, J., Rasko, J., Rokhsar, D., Degnan, B., Mattick, J. (2010), Nuclear-localized tiny RNAs are associated with transcription initiation and splice sites in metazoans. Nature structural & molecular biology. 17(8), 1030-4. [Abstract]
  • Vanslambrouck, J., Bröer, A., Thavyogarajah, T., Holst, J., Bailey, C., Bröer, S., Rasko, J. (2010), Renal imino acid and glycine transport system ontogeny and involvement in developmental iminoglycinuria. The Biochemical journal. 428(3), 397-407. [Abstract]
  • Rasko, J. (2010), A gene therapy renaissance?. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 25(5), 848-850. [Abstract]
  • Ritchie, W., Flamant, S., Rasko, J. (2010), mimiRNA: a microRNA expression profiler and classification resource designed to identify functional correlations between microRNAs and their targets. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). 26(2), 223-7. [Abstract]
  • Khalafallah, A., Dennis, A., Bates, J., Bates, G., Robertson, I., Smith, L., Ball, M., Seaton, D., Brain, T., Rasko, J. (2010), A prospective randomized, controlled trial of intravenous versus oral iron for moderate iron deficiency anaemia of pregnancy. Journal of Internal Medicine. 268(3), 286-295. [Abstract]
  • Gunter, K., Caplan, A., Mason, C., Salzman, R., Janssen, W., Nichols, K., Bouzas, L., Lanza, F., Levine, B., Rasko, J., Shimosaka, A., Horwitz, E. (2010), Cell therapy medical tourism: Time for action. Cytotherapy. 12(8), 965-968. [Abstract]
  • Tiffen, J., Bailey, C., Ng, C., Rasko, J., Holst, J. (2010), Luciferase expression and bioluminescence does not affect tumor cell growth in vitro or in vivo. Molecular Cancer. 9, 299. [Abstract]


  • Ritchie, W., Rajasekhar, M., Flamant, S., Rasko, J. (2009), Conserved expression patterns predict microRNA targets. PLoS Computational Biology. 5(9), e1000513. [Abstract]
  • Ritchie, W., Flamant, S., Rasko, J. (2009), Predicting microRNA targets and functions: traps for the unwary. Nature Methods. 6(6), 397-398. [Abstract]
  • Viiala, N., Larsen, S., Rasko, J. (2009), Gene therapy for hemophilia: clinical trials and technical tribulations. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. 35(1), 81-92. [Abstract]