Heather Christofk is Director of Basic and Translational Research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is an Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Co-Director of the UCLA Metabolomics Center. Dr. Christofk earned a B.S. at UCLA in 2001 and a PhD at Harvard in 2007. As a graduate student, she identified a key protein in cancer metabolism – the M2 splice isoform of pyruvate kinase – and the mechanism by which it contributes to cancer cell proliferation by promoting anabolic glucose metabolism. As a postdoc at UCSF, she used adenovirus to identify molecular mechanisms important for cancer metabolism. The goal of Dr. Christofk’s research is to understand the regulation and role of metabolic transitions in cellular transformation, virus infection, and differentiation. She is a Searle Scholar and recipient of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award.
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