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

  • Associate Professor of Surgery

Research Interests



Dr. Christopher Umbricht is an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery as well as an associate professor of pathology in the Department of Pathology and

An associate professor of oncology at The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. His research focuses 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.

He earned a bacchalaureate type A (classic) and MD from the Humanistisches Gymnasium Basel in Switzerland. He completed an internship in pathology at the Institute of Pathology and an internship in medicine there as well. Dr. Umbricht completed a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also completed a PhD in molecular biology & genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 1996-1999 he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. more


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

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



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

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.


Cloning & Expression of the 14 kD subunit of human replication protein A
Patent # 179837 | 

Contact for Research Inquiries

Phone: 410-614-2662

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • SKCC Breast Center Annual Retreat: Coordinator & Judge, Poster Session Competition

Activities & Honors


  • American Association of Microbiology
  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Association for Molecular Pathology
  • American Thyroid Association

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • Short Oral Communications
    Session Chair, 15th International Thyroid Congress, Lake Nuena Vista, FL (01/01/2015)
  • Current Concepts in the Management of Thyroid and Parathyroid Neoplasms
    Lecture, Houston, Texas (01/01/2015)
    MD Anderson Cancer Cente
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