Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
Conjoint Associate Professor

Dr Christine Louise Chaffer

medicine-health
St Vincent's Clinical School

Christine completed her training in cancer biology at the University of Melbourne (PhD, Supervisors A/Prof Elizabeth Williams and Prof Rik Thompson) followed by her post-doctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research, MIT, Cambridge, USA, with Professor Robert A Weinberg - a world-leader in cancer biology. Her passion and career focus is understanding the mechanisms driving human cancer development, progression and metastasis. Her work also aims to provide translational therapeutic benefits. Christine has challenged, and changed, preestablished paradigms in cancer biology, and she has multiple high-impact papers demonstrating the effects of cancer cell plasticity on driving tumour progression and development into metastatic disease. Her strengths include mammary gland biology, breast cancer biology, cancer stem cells/tumour-initiating cells and cellular transitions, including the epithelialtomesenchymal (EMT) and the reverse process, the mesenchymaltoepithelial (MET) transition. In her laboratory, Christine focuses on cellular plasticity, and the ability of cells to switch phenotypes as a mode of acquiring enhanced tumourigenicity, metastatic ability and chemotherapy-resistance.


IL-1β inflammatory response driven by primary breast cancer prevents metastasis-initiating cell colonization.

Castaño Z, San Juan BP, Spiegel A, Pant A, DeCristo MJ, Laszewski T, Ubellacker JM, Janssen SR, Dongre A, Reinhardt F, Henderson A, Del Rio AG, Gifford AM, Herbert ZT, Hutchinson JN, Weinberg RA, Chaffer CL, McAllister SS. Nat Cell Biol. 2018 Sep;20(9):1084-1097

 Recovering Gene Interactions from Single-Cell Data Using Data Diffusion.

van Dijk D, Sharma R, Nainys J, Yim K, Kathail P, Carr AJ, Burdziak C, Moon KR, Chaffer CL, Pattabiraman D, Bierie B, Mazutis L, Wolf G, Krishnaswamy S, Pe'er D. Cell. 2018 Jul 26;174(3):716-729.e27. 

Integrin-β4 identifies cancer stem cell-enriched populations of partially mesenchymal carcinoma cells.

Bierie B, Pierce SE, Kroeger C, Stover DG, Pattabiraman DR, Thiru P, Liu Donaher J, Reinhardt F, Chaffer CL, Keckesova Z, Weinberg RA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 

Stem cells. Asymmetric apportioning of aged mitochondria between daughter cells is required for stemness.

Katajisto P, Döhla J, Chaffer CL, Pentinmikko N, Marjanovic N, Iqbal S, Zoncu R, Chen W, Weinberg RA, Sabatini DM. Science. 2015 Apr 17;348(6232):340-3

Poised chromatin at the ZEB1 promoter enables breast cancer cell plasticity and enhances tumorigenicity.

Chaffer CL, Marjanovic ND, Lee T, Bell G, Kleer CG, Reinhardt F, D'Alessio AC, Young RA, Weinberg RA .Cell. 2013 Jul 3;154(1):61-74. 

 Normal and neoplastic nonstem cells can spontaneously convert to a stem-like state.

Chaffer CL, Brueckmann I, Scheel C, Kaestli AJ, Wiggins PA, Rodrigues LO, Brooks M, Reinhardt F, Su Y, Polyak K, Arendt LM, Kuperwasser C, Bierie B, Weinberg RA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

 A perspective on cancer cell metastasis.

Chaffer CL, Weinberg RA. Science. 2011 Mar 25;331(6024):1559-64

Phone
+61 2 9355 5824
Location
Kinghorn Cancer Centre Garvan Institute of Medical Research 370 Victoria Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Publications

  • Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Juan BPS; Zadeh S; Ganju V; Vargas C; O'Toole S; Lim E; Davis M; Chaffer C, 2019, 'Unravelling the role of cell plasticity in BrCa development and metastasis', Oncology Abstracts, http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/oncolabs.1.p040
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    San Juan BP; Garcia-Leon MJ; Rangel L; Goetz JG; Chaffer CL, 2019, 'The complexities of metastasis', Cancers, vol. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101575
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    van Dijk D; Sharma R; Nainys J; Yim K; Kathail P; Carr AJ; Burdziak C; Moon KR; Chaffer CL; Pattabiraman D; Bierie B; Mazutis L; Wolf G; Krishnaswamy S; Pe'er D, 2018, 'Recovering Gene Interactions from Single-Cell Data Using Data Diffusion', Cell, vol. 174, pp. 716 - 729.e27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.061
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Castaño Z; San Juan BP; Spiegel A; Pant A; DeCristo MJ; Laszewski T; Ubellacker JM; Janssen SR; Dongre A; Reinhardt F; Henderson A; del Rio AG; Gifford AM; Herbert ZT; Hutchinson JN; Weinberg RA; Chaffer CL; McAllister SS, 2018, 'IL-1β inflammatory response driven by primary breast cancer prevents metastasis-initiating cell colonization', Nature Cell Biology, vol. 20, pp. 1084 - 1097, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41556-018-0173-5
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Li J; Choi PS; Chaffer CL; Labella K; Hwang JH; Giacomelli AO; Kim JW; Ilic N; Doench JG; Ly SH; Dai C; Hagel K; Hong AL; Gjoerup O; Goel S; Ge JY; Root DE; Zhao JJ; Brooks AN; Weinberg RA; Hahn WC, 2018, 'An alternative splicing switch in FLNB promotes the mesenchymal cell state in human breast cancer', eLife, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.37184
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Goetz JG, 2018, 'CD44 Orchestrates Metastatic Teamwork', Developmental Cell, vol. 47, pp. 691 - 693, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.11.038
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Bierie B; Pierce SE; Kroeger C; Stover DG; Pattabiraman DR; Thiru P; Donaher JL; Reinhardt F; Chaffer CL; Keckesova Z; Weinberg RA, 2017, 'Integrin-β4 identifies cancer stem cell-enriched populations of partially mesenchymal carcinoma cells', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 114, pp. E2337 - E2346, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1618298114
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; San Juan BP; Lim E; Weinberg RA, 2016, 'EMT, cell plasticity and metastasis', Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, vol. 35, pp. 645 - 654, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10555-016-9648-7
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Weinberg RA, 2015, 'How does multistep tumorigenesis really proceed?', Cancer Discovery, vol. 5, pp. 22 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-14-0788
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Katajisto P; Döhla J; Chaffer CL; Pentinmikko N; Marjanovic N; Iqbal S; Zoncu R; Chen W; Weinberg RA; Sabatini DM, 2015, 'Asymmetric apportioning of aged mitochondria between daughter cells is required for stemness', Science, vol. 348, pp. 340 - 343, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1260384
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Marjanovic ND; Weinberg RA; Chaffer CL, 2013, 'Cell plasticity and heterogeneity in cancer', Clinical Chemistry, vol. 59, pp. 168 - 179, http://dx.doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2012.184655
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Marjanovic ND; Lee T; Bell G; Kleer CG; Reinhardt F; D'Alessio AC; Young RA; Weinberg RA, 2013, 'XPoised chromatin at the ZEB1 promoter enables breast cancer cell plasticity and enhances tumorigenicity', Cell, vol. 154, pp. 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.06.005
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Marjanovic ND; Weinberg RA; Chaffer CL, 2013, 'Poised with purpose: Cell plasticity enhances tumorigenicity', Cell Cycle, vol. 12, pp. 2713 - 2714, http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.26075
    Journal articles | 2011
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Scheel C; Eaton EN; Li SHJ; Chaffer CL; Reinhardt F; Kah KJ; Bell G; Guo W; Rubin J; Richardson AL; Weinberg RA, 2011, 'Paracrine and autocrine signals induce and maintain mesenchymal and stem cell states in the breast', Cell, vol. 145, pp. 926 - 940, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2011.04.029
    Journal articles | 2011
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Weinberg RA, 2011, 'A perspective on cancer cell metastasis', Science, vol. 331, pp. 1559 - 1564, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1203543
    Journal articles | 2011
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Brueckmann I; Scheel C; Kaestli AJ; Wiggins PA; Rodrigues LO; Brooks M; Reinhardt F; Suc Y; Polyak K; Arendt LM; Kuperwasser C; Bierie B; Weinberg RA, 2011, 'Normal and neoplastic nonstem cells can spontaneously convert to a stem-like state', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, pp. 7950 - 7955, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1102454108
    Journal articles | 2010
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Weinberg RA, 2010, 'Cancer cell of origin: Spotlight on luminal progenitors', Cell Stem Cell, vol. 7, pp. 271 - 272, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2010.08.008
    Journal articles | 2010
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Tilkorn DJ; Lokmic Z; Chaffer CL; Mitchell GM; Morrison WA; Thompson EW, 2010, 'Disparate companions: Tissue engineering meets cancer research', Cells Tissues Organs, vol. 192, pp. 141 - 157, http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000308892
    Journal articles | 2009
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Gupta PB; Chaffer CL; Weinberg RA, 2009, 'Cancer stem cells: Mirage or reality?', Nature Medicine, vol. 15, pp. 1010 - 1012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm0909-1010
    Journal articles | 2007
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Dopheide B; Savagner P; Thompson EW; Williams ED, 2007, 'Aberrant fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in bladder and other cancers', Differentiation, vol. 75, pp. 831 - 842, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1432-0436.2007.00210.x
    Journal articles | 2006
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Thomas DM; Thompson EW; Williams ED, 2006, 'PPARγ-independent induction of growth arrest and apoptosis in prostate and bladder carcinoma', BMC Cancer, vol. 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-6-53
    Journal articles | 2006
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Brennan JP; Slavin JL; Blick T; Thompson EW; Williams ED, 2006, 'Mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition facilitates bladder cancer metastasis: Role of fibroblast growth factor receptor-2', Cancer Research, vol. 66, pp. 11271 - 11278, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-2044
    Journal articles | 2005
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Dopheide B; McCulloch DR; Lee AB; Moseley JM; Thompson EW; Williams ED, 2005, 'Upregulated MT1-MMP/TIMP-2 axis in the TSU-Pr1-B1/B2 model of metastatic progression in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder', Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, vol. 22, pp. 115 - 125, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10585-005-5141-3
    Journal articles | 2002
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Morris MJ, 2002, 'The Feeding Response to Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Is Attenuated by Antagonism of the NPY Y1-Receptor in the Rat', Endocrinology, vol. 143, pp. 191 - 197, http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.143.1.191
  • Conference Papers | 2021
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Tong A; Juan BPS; Zhu B; Chaffer CL; Krishnaswamy S, 2021, 'Abstract 2839: Understanding the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and its drivers in triple-negative breast cancer with continuous normalizing flows', in Tumor Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, presented at Proceedings: AACR Annual Meeting 2021; April 10-15, 2021 and May 17-21, 2021; Philadelphia, PA, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.am2021-2839
    Conference Papers | 2017
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Li J; Choi P; Chaffer C; Labella K; Kim JW; Doench J; Dai C; Giacomelli A; Ly SH; Hwang J; Hong A; Ilic N; Gjoerup O; Meyerson M; Brooks A; Weinberg R; Hahn W, 2017, 'Abstract A36: Genome-scale ORF screening to identify modulators of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition', in Finding Synthetic Lethal Interactions through Functional Genomics, American Association for Cancer Research, presented at Abstracts: AACR Precision Medicine Series: Opportunities and Challenges of Exploiting Synthetic Lethality in Cancer; January 4-7, 2017; San Diego, CA, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-8514.synthleth-a36
    Conference Papers | 2017
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Li J; Choi P; Chaffer C; Labella K; Kim JW; Doench J; Dai C; Giacomelli A; Ly SH; Hwang J; Hong A; Ilic N; Gjoerup O; Meyerson M; Brooks A; Weinberg R; Hahn W, 2017, 'Abstract 5020: A genome-scale ORF screen reveals an alternative splicing program that regulates mesenchymal and stem-like cell states in breast cancer', in Tumor Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, presented at Proceedings: AACR Annual Meeting 2017; April 1-5, 2017; Washington, DC, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.am2017-5020
    Conference Papers | 2016
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Castano Z; Chaffer CL; Spiegel A; Pant A; Richardson AL; Reinhardt F; Marsh T; Janssen S; Gifford AM; Weinberg RA; McAllister SS, 2016, 'Understanding the systemic interactions between primary tumors and disseminated tumor initiating cells', in CANCER RESEARCH, AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, San Diego, CA, presented at AACR Special Conference on Function of Tumor Microenvironment in Cancer Progression, San Diego, CA, 07 January 2016 - 10 January 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.TME16-PR13
    Conference Papers | 2011
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Scheel C; NgEaton E; Li SH-J; Chaffer CL; Reinhardt F; Kah K-J; Bell G; Guo W; Rubin J; Richardson A; Weinberg RA, 2011, 'Formation and maintenance of mesenchymal and stem-cell states in the breast by paracrine and autocrine signals', in CANCER RESEARCH, AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.AM2011-LB-108
    Conference Papers | 2007
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Chaffer CL; Thompson EW; Williams ED, 2007, 'Mesenchymal to epithelial transition in development and disease', in Cells Tissues Organs, pp. 7 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000101298
    Conference Papers | 2007
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Williams E; Chaffer C; Oakes SR; Ormandy CJ; Blick T; Thompson E, 2007, 'Mesenchymal to epithetial transition in the establishment of secondary tumours: insights from a bladder carcinoma progression series', in Clinical and Experimental Metastasis, Kluwer Academic Publ, pp. 262 - 262, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000248687200097&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
    Conference Papers | 2006
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Brennan JP; Chaffer CL; Slavin J; Temelcos C; Goad J; Williams ED, 2006, 'Patterns of spread in an orthotopic mouse model of bladder cancer', in BJU INTERNATIONAL, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, pp. 9 - 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06085_31.x
    Conference Papers | 2006
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Williams ED; Chaffer CL; Oakes SR; Ormandy CJ; Blick T; Thompson EW, 2006, 'Mesenchymal to epithelial transition in the establishment of secondary tumors: Insights from a bladder carcinoma progression series', in CANCER RESEARCH, AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000454606204397&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Dr Christine Louise Chaffer
    Brennan JP; Williams ED; Chaffer CL; Goad J; Temelcos C; Slavin J, 2005, 'A novel orthotopic model of muscle-invasive bladder cancer', in BJU INTERNATIONAL, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, pp. 27 - 27, presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the Urological- Society-of-Australasia, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, 13 February 2005 - 17 February 2005, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000236061300125&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1

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