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Christopher Michael Heaphy, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Christopher Michael Heaphy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Research Interests: Cancer biology; Telomeres; Tumor microenvironment

Contact for Research Inquiries

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
411 N. Caroline St.
Bond Street Building, B314
Baltimore, MD 21231 map
Phone: 443-287-4730

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Background

Dr. Christopher Heaphy is an assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the contribution of telomere biology in cancer development and progression.

His team's current projects include assessing the translational potential of telomere length measurements.

Dr. Heaphy received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.

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Titles

  • Assistant Professor of Pathology
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico (New Mexico) (2008)

Additional Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2008-2013)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The overall research goal of Dr. Heaphy's laboratory is to further understand the contribution of telomere biology in cancer development and progression.

For a variety of human cancers (e.g., prostate, breast, ovarian, brain, pancreas), new molecular biomarkers are urgently needed for improving risk assessment and for accurate prognostication of the disease to improve upon current prevention and treatment strategies. One molecular marker that may address these clinical problems is tissue-based telomere length measurements.

Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that function to protect and stabilize the chromosomal ends by preventing chromosome fusions, masking inappropriate double-strand DNA break damage signals, and inhibiting exonucleolytic degradation. In addition to assessing the translational potential of telomere length measurements, his laboratory is working to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression (e.g., through telomere length alterations), as well as understanding how the interactions between the tumor and its tissue microenvironment may facilitate this process.

Lab

Selected Publications

Heaphy CM, Schreck KC, Raabe E, Mao XG, An P, Chu Q, Poh W, Jiao Y, Rodriguez FJ, Odia Y, Meeker AK, Eberhart CG. "A glioblastoma neurosphere line with alternative lengthening of telomeres." Acta Neuropathol. 2013 Oct;126(4):607-8.

Heaphy CM, Yoon GS, Peskoe SB, Joshu CE, Lee TK, Giovannucci E, Mucci LA, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, Hicks JL, De Marzo AM, Platz EA, Meeker AK. "Prostate cancer cell telomere length variability and stromal cell telomere length as prognostic markers for metastasis and death." Cancer Discov. 2013 Oct;3(10):1130-41. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-13-0135. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Heaphy CM, Subhawong AP, Hong SM, Goggins MG, Montgomery EA, Gabrielson E, Netto GJ, Epstein JI, Lotan TL, Westra WH, Shih IeM, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Maitra A, Li QK, Eberhart CG, Taube JM, Rakheja D, Kurman RJ, Wu TC, Roden RB, Argani P, De Marzo AM, Terracciano L, Torbenson M, Meeker AK. "Prevalence of the alternative lengthening of telomeres telomere maintenance mechanism in human cancer subtypes." Am J Pathol. 2011 Oct;179(4):1608-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.06.018. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Heaphy CM, de Wilde RF, Jiao Y, Klein AP, Edil BH, Shi C, Bettegowda C, Rodriguez FJ, Eberhart CG, Hebbar S, Offerhaus GJ, McLendon R, Rasheed BA, He Y, Yan H, Bigner DD, Oba-Shinjo SM, Marie SK, Riggins GJ, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Hruban RH, Maitra A, Papadopoulos N, Meeker AK. "Altered telomeres in tumors with ATRX and DAXX mutations." Science. 2011 Jul 22;333(6041):425. doi: 10.1126/science.1207313. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Heaphy CM, Subhawong AP, Gross AL, Konishi Y, Kouprina N, Argani P, Visvanathan K, Meeker AK. "Shorter telomeres in luminal B, HER-2 and triple-negative breast cancer subtypes." Mod Pathol. 2011 Feb;24(2):194-200. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2010.198. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Heaphy CM, Gaonkar G, Peskoe SB, Joshu CE, De Marzo AM, Lucia MS, Goodman PJ, Lippman SM, Thompson IM, Platz EA, Meeker AK. Prostate stromal cell telomere shortening is associated with risk of prostate cancer in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. The Prostate, 2015. doi: 10.1002/pros.22997.

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