A/Prof Christina Jamieson, BSc (Hons), PhD
Assistant Professor, Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego
A/Prof Jamieson received her PhD in molecular immunology from Brandeis University, Boston, in 1993 and did her post-doctoral training at theUniversity of California, San Francisco. A/Prof Jamieson then joined the University of California at Los Angeles as an Assistant Professor in the departments of Urology and Human Genetics, where she initiated her work on bone metastatic prostate cancer. In 2010, A/Prof Jamieson moved to the University of California, San Diego, to join the Department of Surgery where she established new patient derived xenograft (PDX) models of bone metastatic prostate cancer and a biorepository of surgical prostate cancer bone metastasis specimens.
Prostate cancer bone metastases are not often surgically removed and, thus, have been challenging to study. However, in cases in which the bone metastasis is causing a pathologic fracture, orthopaedic surgical repair is performed and the tumour tissue is removed. In collaboration with surgeons Drs Anna Kulidjian and Christopher Kane, A/Prof Jamieson has used this surgical bone metastasis tumour tissue to establish a new series of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models that closely recapitulate the bone metastatic disease seen in patients. These PDX models are being used to develop novel therapies for inhibiting prostate cancer growth in the bone-niche.
A/Prof Jamieson is the first to show that the bone niche supports castration resistant growth of bone metastatic prostate cancer. She identified gene networks associated with prostate cancer growth in the bone microenvironment and established a co-culture model system in which prostate cancer cells induced osteoblast differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells. These findings support the hypothesis that crosstalk with the bone microenvironment leads to therapy-resistant growth of cancers.
The biorepository that A/Prof Jamieson has established, consists of patient surgical prostate cancer bone metastases from different stages of treatment within the same patients. The patient-derived primary samples and the PDX models derived from these patient specimens are being analysed in genome sequencing, transcriptome and proteasome studies. A/Prof Jamieson is further enhancing the PCSD (Prostate Cancer San Diego) models with human immune cell and human stromal cell reconstitution. The combined clinical and scientific expertise of the UCSD team is producing a deeper understanding of the bone effects and tumour growth properties in their new models and better identification of clinically relevant targets for inhibiting bone metastatic prostate cancer in the bone.
A/Prof Jamieson’s research funding is from Phi Beta Psi Charity Trust, Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) Pfizer, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) NIBIB and NCI, Leo and Anne Albert Charitable Foundation.