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, pre‐established 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 epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal (EMT) and the reverse process, the mesenchymal‐to‐epithelial (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
Cancer Cell Plasticity in solid tumours, Breast Cancer, Chemotherapy-resistance, Metastasis