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Christopher Benedict Umbricht, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Christopher Benedict Umbricht, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery

Research Interests: Surgery



  • Associate Professor of Surgery
  • Associate Professor of Oncology
  • Associate Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.D., University Basel - Medicine Fak - Basel - (Switzerland) (1982)
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland) (1996)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

We are applying morphological, biochemical, and genetic approaches to the problem of preinvasive cancer and what determines its progression to invasive disease. Our main focus has been on breast cancer and thyroid cancer, and on the role of specific genes, such as telomerase, or the Vitamin D receptor, in the progression to invasive cancer. We are currently using genome-wide cDNA and SNP arrays to identify changes in gene expression and DNA copy number variation during tumor progression, and following up on promising leads by developing DNA methylation markers, real-time RT-PCR assays, and immunohistochemical analysis for individual genes.

Selected Publications

The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Integrated genomic characterization of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cell 2014; 159:676-90. PMCID:4243044.

Cope LM, Fackler MJ, Lopez-Bujanda Z, Wolff AC, Visvanathan K, Gray JW, Sukumar S, Umbricht CB. Do breast cancer cell lines provide a relevant model of the patient tumor methylome? PLoS ONE 2014; 9:e105545.

Fackler MJ, Lopez Bujanda Z, Umbricht CB, Teo WW, Cho S, Zhang Z, Visvanathan K, Jeter S, Argani P, Wang C, Lyman JP, de Brot M, Ingle JN, Boughey J, McGuire K, King TA, Carey LA, Cope L, Wolff AC, Sukumar S. Novel methylated biomarkers and a robust assay to detect circulating tumor DNA in metastatic breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2014 Apr 15;74(8):2160-70. PMID: 24737128.

Liu Y, Cope L, Sun W, Wang Y, Prasad N, Sangenario L, Talbot K, Somervell H, Westra W, Bishop J, Califano J, Zeiger M, and Umbricht CB. DNA Copy Number Variations Characterize Benign and Malignant Thyroid Tumors. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98 (3): E558-66. PMCID:3590464.

Wang Y, Meeker AK, Kowalski J, Tsai HL, Somervell H, Heaphy C, Sangenario LE, Prasad N, Westra WH, Zeiger MA, Umbricht CB. Telomere length is related to alternative splice patterns of telomerase in thyroid tumors. Am J Pathol 2011; 179:1415-1424. PMCID: 3157225.

Hu, S.; Liu, D.; Tufano, R.P.; Carson, K.A.; Rosenbaum, E.; Cohen, Y.; Holt, E.H.; Kiseljak-Vassiliades, K.; Rhoden, K.J.; Tolaney, S.; Condouris, S.; Tallini, G.; Westra, W.H.; Umbricht, C.B.; Zeiger, M.A.; Califano, J.A.; Vasko, V.; Xing, M. Association of aberrant methylation of tumor suppressor genes with tumor aggressiveness and BRAF mutation in papillary thyroid cancer. Int J Cancer. 2006 Nov 15;119(10):2322-2329.

Prasad, N.B.; Somervell, H.; Tufano, R.P.; Dackiw, A.P.; Marohn, M.R.; Califano, J.A.; Wang, Y.; Westra, W.H.; Clark, D.P.; Umbricht, C.B.; Libutti, S.K.; Zeiger, M.A. Identification of genes differentially expressed in benign versus malignant thyroid tumors. Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Jun 1;14(11):3327-3337.

Wang, Y.; Kowalski, J.; Tsai, H.L.; Marik, R.; Prasad, N.; Somervell, H.; Lo, P.K.; Sangenario, L.E.; Dyrskjot, L.; Orntoft, T.F.; Westra, W.H.; Meeker, A.K.; Eshleman, J.R.; Umbricht, C.B.; Zeiger, M.A. Differentiating alternative splice variant patterns of human telomerase reverse transcriptase in thyroid neoplasms. Thyroid. 2008 Oct;18(10):1055-1063.

Pesce, C.E.; Shiue, Z.; Tsai, H.L.; Umbricht, C.B.; Tufano, R.P.; Dackiw, A.P.; Kowalski, J.; Zeiger, M.A. Postoperative hypocalcemia after thyroidectomy for Graves' disease. Thyroid. 2010 Nov;20(11):1279-1283.

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