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  • Christian Gomez, PhD


    Associate Professor
    Cancer Institute
    E-mail: crgomez@umc.edu


    Education and Training

    • PhD, Biomedical Sciences, 2004, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
    • 2004-08, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
      Mechanisms of Aging and Inflammation
    • Assistant Professor, 2008-11, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, MN
      Cancer Immunotherapy, Molecular Biomarkers and Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis

    Research interests

    The focus of Dr. Gomez's research is on modulating immunity to offset the effects of disease and aging. His ongoing efforts are to develop more effective cancer immunotherapy, particularly immunotherapy of prostate cancer (CaP). One of his projects tests the hypothesis that hypoxically grown cells mimic more closely the antigenic signature of (the naturally hypoxic) tumor cells in situ than do the currently studied cellular vaccines prepared in air. The aim is to characterize the antigenic landscape of hypoxically cultured CaP cells and compare it to that of normoxic CaP cells. Consequently, he is identifying oxygen-tension (ρO2) responsive genes and proteins in CaP cells using transcriptomics, proteomics and immune techniques for detection of tumor-associated antigens in CaP cells.

    Dr. Gomez’s findings are validated by studying gene expression also in patient-derived CaP tissue. In another project, the transcripts of hypoxia-regulated genes have been found overexpressed in human primary CaP and human CaP cell lines. Dr Gomez and his team is studying gene expression in correlation with pathological scores and prognosis. Consequently, he has hypothesized that hypoxia-regulated transcript levels can serve as a prognostic factor. He is testing this hypothesis by measuring the levels of hypoxia-controlled transcripts in resected CaP tissues and studying the association with survival.

    In addition, in CaP cells, Dr. Gomez’s team is overexpressing selected genes and studying the effects of hypoxia-controlled genes on proliferation, anchorage-dependent and independent growth, and sensitivity to cytotoxic drugs. Validation of hypoxia-controlled genes' role in tumor progression will classify these molecules as a potentially new biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

    Dr. Gomez’s research is funded in part by the DoD, PCF and UMMC.

    Professional activities

    • Professional awards

      • 2001 - Distinguish Award for the "Best dissertation project on Gerontological Studies" Interdisciplinary Program for Gerontological Studies, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
      • 2011 - Prostate Cancer Foundation. Treatment Sciences Creativity Awards 2011
    • Memberships

      • 2009-Present - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Active Member
      • 2009-Present - Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, Member
      • 2009-Present - AACR, Minority Scholar in Cancer Research, Member
    • Journal review and editorial board activity

      • Ad Hoc Reviewer - Journal of Leukocyte Biology, American Journal of Physiology-Advances in Medical Education, AACR journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, etc.
      • 2012-Present - Editorial Board of Conference Papers in Immunology
      • 2013-Present - Editorial Board of Journal of Clinical & Anatomical Pathology
      • 2013-Present - Editorial Board of JSM Microbiology
    • Grant review panels

      • 2012 - Training Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics peer review panel of the Prostate Cancer Research Program for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
      • 2012-Present -  University of Mississippi Medical Center Intramural Research Support Program (IRSP) peer review panel
      • 2013 - Molecular and Cellular Biology Idea Development Award (IDA)/ Synergistic Idea Development Award (SIDA) peer review panel of the Prostate Cancer Research Program for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

    Publications of note (last three years, total of 30)

    • Gomez C.R., Kosari F, Munz J-M, Schreiber CA, Knutson GJ, et al. (2013) Prognostic Value of Discs Large Homolog 7 Transcript Levels in Prostate Cancer. PLoS ONE 8(12): e82833. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082833
    • Gomez, C.R., Knutson, G., Bulur, P., Schreiber, C., Vuk-Pavlovic S. Age-dependent response of bone marrow cells to hyperbaric oxygen. 2012. BMC Medicine. 13: 287–297.
    • Nomellini, V., Mahbub, S., Gomez, C.R., and Kovacs, E.J. Dysregulation of neutrophil CXCR2 and pulmonary endothelial icam-1 promotes age-related pulmonary inflammation. 2012. Aging Dis. 3:234-47
    • Gomez, C.R., Kosari, F., Munz, J.M., Schreiber, C., Knutson, G., Charlesworth, C., Karnes, R. J., Cheville, J., Vasmatzis, G., Vuk-Pavlovic, S. Prognostic value of hypoxia-associated genes in prostate cancer (in press PlosOne)
    • El-Khattouti, A., Selimovic, D., Haïkel, Y., Megahed, M., Gomez, C.R., Hassan, M. Identification and analysis of CD133+ melanoma stem- like cells conferring resistance to taxol: an insight into the mechanisms of their resistance and response. 2013. Cancer Lett. 2013 Sep 27. pii: S0304-3835(13)00693-9. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.09.024. (Epub ahead of print)
    • Hassan, M., El-Khattouti, A., Tandon, R., Gomez, C.R. Commensal microbiota in cancer development and therapy. 2013. JSM Microbiology 1(1):1002