Claudia Petritsch PhD
Assistant Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery
Dr. Petritsch’s objective is to elucidate defects in cell division and differentiation of brain cancer stem cells and to distinguish them from normal adult neural stem and progenitor cells. The Petritsch lab utilizes transgenic model organisms and novel cell culture assays to investigate in particular whether defects in asymmetric division of stem and progenitor cells in response to oncogenic mutations are responsible for their neoplastic transformation and the emergence of brain cancer stem cells.
Dr. Petritsch has previously identified novel regulators of asymmetric cell division essential for proper neurogenesis and stem cell self-renewal. The Petritsch lab has recently discovered that normal adult neural stem cells undergo asymmetric cell divisions to generate glial cells and that this process is disrupted in response to oncogenic mutations in premalignant and glioma stem cells.
Currently, the Petritsch lab is studying regulators of asymmetric stem cell division as potential tumor suppressors and oncogenes by utilizing knock out mice and orthotopic transplantation models. Therapy-resistant brain cancer stem cells are the likely origin of many primary and recurrent brain tumors, thus making them an important novel target for brain tumor therapies. We would like to translate these studies into improved diagnostics and therapies for brain cancer patients by identifying novel and specific molecular targets in glioma stem cells. Read about Dr. Petritsch's current research ►
Education, Training, and Previous Positions
- 1990: MSc, University of Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, Austria
1996: PhD, University of Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, Austria
1997-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco
2002-2003: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco
2003-2005: Lecturer, Gene Center and Department of Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany
2005-2008: Associate Research Biochemist, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
2008-Present: Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments
- Austrian Scientist and Scholars in North America
Selected Honors and Awards
- 1994: Federation of European Biochemical Societies short-term fellowship
1996: European Molecular Biology Organisation long-term fellowship
1999: Human Frontiers Science Program Organization long-term fellowship
2003: German Research Council (DFG), Project Grant SFB # 413
2004: German Research Council (DFG), Project Grant SFB #646
2004: Award for Outstanding Women in Life Sciences (University of Munich)
2005: Award for Outstanding Women in Life Sciences (University of Munich)
2005: Bavarian California Technology Award
2006: IDEA Award, California Breast Cancer Research Program
2007: National Brain Tumor Foundation, Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor Research Grant
2007: Career Development Research Award, Brain Tumor SPORE
2008: Career Development Research Award, Brain Tumor SPORE
2008: Individual Investigator Award, Academic Senate
2008: Pilot Research Award, Research Allocation Program (REAC)
2008: National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF), Oligodendroglioma award
Selected Recent Publications
Sugiarto S, Persson AI, Munoz EG, Waldhuber M, Lamagna C, Andor N, Hanecker P, Ayers-Ringler J, Phillips J, Siu J, Lim DA, Vandenberg S, Stallcup W, Berger MS, Bergers G, Weiss WA, Petritsch C. Asymmetry-defective oligodendrocyte progenitors are glioma precursors. Cancer Cell 2011;20(3):328-40.
Ouyang Y, Petritsch C, Wen H, Jan L, Jan YN, Lu B. Dronc caspase exerts a non-apoptotic function to restrain phospho-Numb-induced ectopic neuroblast formation in Drosophila. Development 2011;138(11):2185-96.
Persson AI, Petritsch C, Swartling FJ, Itsara M, Sim FJ, Auvergne R, Goldenberg DD, Vandenberg SR, Nguyen KN, Yakovenko S, Ayers-Ringler J, Nishiyama A, Stallcup WB, Berger MS, Bergers G, McKnight TR, Goldman SA, Weiss WA. Non-stem cell origin for oligodendroglioma. Cancer Cell 2010;18(6):669-82.
Silber J, Lim DA, Petritsch C, Persson AI, Maunakea AK, Yu M, Vandenberg SR, Ginzinger DG, James CD, Costello JF, Bergers G, Weiss WA, Alvarez-Buylla A, Hodgson JG. miR-124 and miR-137 inhibit proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme cells and induce differentiation of brain tumor stem cells. BMC Med 2008;6:14.
Erben V, Waldhuber M, Langer D, Fetka I, Jansen RP, Petritsch C. Asymmetric localization of the adaptor protein Miranda in neuroblasts is achieved by diffusion and sequential interaction of Myosin II and VI. J Cell Sci 2008;121(Pt 9):1403-14.
Du R, Petritsch C, Lu K, Liu P, Haller A, Ganss R, Song H, Vandenberg S, Bergers G. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 regulates vascular patterning and growth affecting tumor cell survival and invasion in GBM. Neuro Oncol 2008;10(3):254-64.
Du R, Lu KV, Petritsch C, Liu P, Ganss R, Passegué E, Song H, Vandenberg S, Johnson RS, Werb Z, Bergers G. HIF1alpha induces the recruitment of bone marrow-derived vascular modulatory cells to regulate tumor angiogenesis and invasion. Cancer Cell 2008;13(3):206-20.
Waldhuber M, Emoto K, Petritsch C. The Drosophila caspase DRONC is required for metamorphosis and cell death in response to irradiation and developmental signals. Mech Dev 2005;122(7-8):914-27.
Ye B, Petritsch C, Clark IE, Gavis ER, Jan LY, Jan YN. Nanos and Pumilio are essential for dendrite morphogenesis in Drosophila peripheral neurons. Curr Biol 2004;14(4):314-21.
Petritsch C, Tavosanis G, Turck CW, Jan LY, Jan YN. The Drosophila myosin VI Jaguar is required for basal protein targeting and correct spindle orientation in mitotic neuroblasts. Dev Cell 2003;4(2):273-81.