Heather Christofk

Heather Christofk, PhD

Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Director, JCCC Basic and Translational Research
Co-Director, UCLA Metabolomics Center
Member, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research



Contact Information

Scientific Interests

Dr. Heather Christofk's research focuses on metabolic transitions in cells, which coincide with important cellular processes such as differentiation, malignant transformation and virus infection. She is particularly interested in what regulates metabolic transitions in normal and disease states, how viruses rewire host cell metabolism to meet their biosynthetic needs and how the metabolic state of a cell contributes to cell identity and functionality. By elucidating metabolic reprogramming mechanisms, she hopes to identify new cancer treatment strategies.

Highlighted Publications

Hong CS, Graham NA, Gu W, Espindola Camacho C, Mah V, Maresh EL, Alavi M, Bagryanova L, Krotee PA, Gardner BK, Behbahan IS, Horvath S, Chia D, Mellinghoff IK, Hurvitz SA, Dubinett SM, Critchlow SE, Kurdistani SK, Goodglick L, Braas D, Graeber TG, Christofk HR. MCT1 Modulates Cancer Cell Pyruvate Export and Growth of Tumors that Co-express MCT1 and MCT4. Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 23;14(7):1590-601. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.01.057. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Krall AS, Xu S, Graeber TG, Braas D, Christofk HR. Asparagine promotes cancer cell proliferation through use as an amino acid exchange factor. Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 29;7:11457. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11457.

Thai M, Thaker SK, Feng J, Du Y, Hu H, Ting Wu T, Graeber TG, Braas D, Christofk HR. MYC-induced reprogramming of glutamine catabolism supports optimal virus replication. Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 12;6:8873. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9873.

Thai M, Graham NA, Braas D, Nehil M, Komisopoulou E, Kurdistani SK, McCormick F, Graeber TG, Christofk HR. Adenovirus E4ORF1-induced MYC activation promotes host cell anabolic glucose metabolism and virus replication. Cell Metab. 2014 Apr 1;19(4):694-701. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.03.009.

Braas D, Ahler E, Tam B, Nathanson D, Riedinger M, Benz MR, Smith KB, Eilber FC, Witte ON, Tap WD, Wu H, Christofk HR. Metabolomics strategy reveals subpopulation of liposarcomas sensitive to gemcitabine treatment. Cancer Discov. 2012 Dec;2(12):1109-17. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0197.