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Christine M. Stellrecht, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houton, TX

Research Interests

Broadly stated, my research interests encompass the understanding of gene regulation and the permutations in these events that occur during oncogenesis. The overall goal of my research is to identify and evaluate novel therapeutic targets and strategies which can be translated into innovative clinical approaches for the treatment of cancer.

For the past several years my research has largely focused on directly targeting transcription, with the concept being that impeding mRNA synthesis selectively hinders the expression of transcripts with shorter half-lives. These transcripts mainly encode oncoproteins and other key regulators that the neoplastic cells are physiologically dependent on. This work has identified previously unknown targets for both myeloma and breast cancer and has led to two clinical trials.

Specifically, we have been developing unique RNA altering agents which are ribonucleoside analogs; 8-chloro-adenosine and 8-amino-adenosine. These analogs rapidly accumulate in their triphosphate form and incorporate into RNA, resulting in premature termination of transcription. Simultaneously, these analog alters ATP metabolism, depleting the cells of bioenergy; providing a second mechanism for targeting tumor cells that are sensitive to energy depletion.

Additionally, our work with transcription inhibitors identified c-MET receptor tyrosine kinase as a survival factor for myeloma cells. Based on this discovery, my research interests includes further understanding the role of c-MET in the pathobiology of myeloma and its potential a therapeutic target.

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 301429
1901 East Road
Unit Number: 1950
Houston, TX 77230-1429
Room Number: 4SCR3.1042
Phone: 713-563-7856

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1991 University of Texas Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, PHD, Molecular Biology
1981 State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, BS, Medical Technology

Postgraduate Training

12/1991-9/1995 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, Dr. Ming-Jer Tsai


Academic Appointments

Associate Faculty Member, The University of Texas Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Houston, TX, 12/2007-present

Institutional Committee Activities

Senator, Faculty Senate, 2/2016-present
Member, GSBS Student Scholarship Committee, 9/2012-8/2015
Member, Department of Experimental Therapeutics Research Seminar Committee, 9/2011-present

Honors and Awards

2016-present Career Development Award, UT Sowthwestern and UT MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Lung Cancer Research
2013-2015 Career Development Award, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Myeloma Research
2012-2014 Senior Research Award, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
2011-2012 Career Development Award, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Myeloma Research
2011-2012 Career Development Award, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Breast Cancer Research
2008-2011 Career Catalyst Award, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Klionsky DJ.. Stellrecht CM, et al.. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 12(1):1-222, 1/2016. PMID: 26799652.
2. Zaman S, Shentu S, Yang J, He J, Orlowski RZ, Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. Targeting the Pro-Survival Protein MET with Tivantinib (ARQ 197) Inhibits Growth of Multiple Myeloma Cells. Neoplasia 17(3):289-300, 3/2015. PMID: 25810013.
3. *Stellrecht CM, Vangapandu HV, Le XF, Mao W, Shentu S. ATP directed agent, 8-chloro-adenosine, induces AMP activated protein kinase activity, leading to autophagic cell death in breast cancer cells. J Hematol Oncol 7(1):23, 2014. e-Pub 3/2014. PMCID: PMC4007639.
4. Phillip CJ, Zaman S, Shentu S, Balakrishnan K, Zhang J, Baladandayuthapani V, Taverna P, Redkar S, Wang M, *Stellrecht CM, *Gandhi V. Targeting MET kinase with the small-molecule inhibitor amuvatinib induces cytotoxicity in primary myeloma cells and cell lines. J Hematol Oncol 6(92):92, 2013. e-Pub 12/2013. PMCID: PMC3878866.
5. *Stellrecht CM, Chen LS. Transcription inhibition as a therapeutic target for cancer. Cancers (Basel) 3(4):4170-90,, 2011. e-Pub 11/2011. PMCID: PMC3763417.
6. Stellrecht CM, Ayres M, Arya R, Gandhi V. A unique RNA-directed nucleoside analog is cytotoxic to breast cancer cells and depletes cyclin E levels. Breast Cancer Res Treat 121(2):355-64, 6/2010. e-Pub 7/2009. PMCID: PMCN/A.
7. Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. MET receptor tyrosine kinase as a therapeutic anticancer target. Cancer Lett 280(1):1-14, 7/2009. e-Pub 12/2008. PMCID: PMCN/A.
8. Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. Myeloma antioxidant status: the good, the bad, and the reactive. Leuk Lymphoma 50(5):691-3, 5/2009. PMCID: PMCN/A.
9. Phillip CJ, Stellrecht CM, Nimmanapalli, Gandhi V. Targeting MET Transcription as a Therapeutic Strategy in Multiple Myeloma. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 63(4):587–597, 2009. e-Pub 5/2008. PMCID: PMC2892885.
10. Chen LS, Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. RNA-directed agent, cordycepin, induces cell death in multiple myeloma cells. Br J Haematol 140(6):682-391, 3/2008. PMCID: PMCN/A.
11. Stellrecht CM, Phillip CJ, Cervantes-Gomez F, Gandhi V. Multiple myeloma cell killing by depletion of the MET receptor tyrosine kinase. Cancer Res 67(20):9913-20, 10/2007. PMCID: PMCN/A.
12. Balakrishnan K, Stellrecht CM, Genini D, Ayres M, Wierda WG, Keating MJ, Leoni LM, Gandhi V. Cell death of bioenergetically compromised and transcriptionally challenged CLL lymphocytes by chlorinated ATP. Blood 105(11):4455-62, 6/2005. PMCID: PMC1895042.
13. Stellrecht CM, Rodriguez CO, Jr, Ayres M, Gandhi V. RNA-directed actions of 8-chloro-adenosine in multiple myeloma cells. Cancer Res 63(22):7968-74, 11/2003. PMCID: PMCN/A.
14. Rodriguez CO, Jr, Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. Mechanisms for T-cell selective cytotoxicity of arabinosylguanine. Blood 102(5):1842-8, 9/2003. PMCID: PMCN/A.
15. Stellrecht CM, Gandhi V. Concurrent isolation of ribosomal, messenger, and low molecular weight RNA. Biotechniques 33(5):1122-4, 11/2002. PMCID: PMCN/A.
16. Xu ZP, Dutra A, Stellrecht CM, Wu C, Piatigorsky J, Saunders GF. Functional and structural characterization of the human gene BHLHB5, encoding a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor. Genomics 80(3):311-8, 9/2002. PMCID: PMCN/A.
17. Singh S, Stellrecht CM, Tang HK, Saunders GF. Modulation of PAX6 homeodomain function by the paired domain. J Biol Chem 275(23):17306-13, 6/2000. PMCID: PMCN/A.
18. Stellrecht CM, DeMayo FJ, Finegold MJ, Tsai MJ. Tissue-specific and developmental regulation of the rat insulin II gene enhancer, RIPE3, in transgenic mice. J Biol Chem 272(6):3567-72, 2/1997. PMCID: PMCN/A.
19. Peyton M, Stellrecht CM, Naya FJ, Huang HP, Samora PJ, Tsai MJ. BETA3, a novel helix-loop-helix protein, can act as a negative regulator of BETA2 and MyoD-responsive genes. Mol Cell Biol 16(2):626-33, 2/1996. PMCID: PMC231042.
20. Shieh SY, Stellrecht CM, Tsai MJ. Molecular characterization of the rat insulin enhancer-binding complex 3b2. Cloning of a binding factor with putative helicase motifs. J Biol Chem 270(37):21503-8, 9/1995. PMCID: PMCN/A.
21. Naya FJ, Stellrecht CM, Tsai MJ. Tissue-specific regulation of the insulin gene by a novel basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor. Genes Dev 9(8):1009-19, 4/1995. PMCID: PMCN/A.
22. Stellrecht CM, Fraizer G, Selvanayagam C, Chao LY, Lee A, Saunders GF. Transcriptional regulation of a hematopoietic proteoglycan core protein gene during hematopoiesis. J Biol Chem 268(6):4078-84, 2/1993. PMID: 8440699.
23. Stellrecht CM, Mars WM, Miwa H, Beran M, Saunders GF. Expression pattern of a hematopoietic proteoglycan core protein gene during human hematopoiesis. Differentiation 48(2):127-35, 11/1991. PMID: 1723052.
24. Stellrecht CM, Saunders GF. Nucleotide sequence of a cDNA encoding a hemopoietic proteoglycan core protein. Nucleic Acids Res 17(18):7523, 9/1989. PMCID: PMC334837.
25. Mars WM, Stellrecht CM, Stass S, Fraizer ML, Saunders GF. Localization of an abundant myeloid mRNA to individual leukocytes in mixed cell populations. Leukemia 1(3):167-72, 3/1987. PMID: 3478537.

Invited Articles

1. Stellrecht CM, Chen LS, Gandhi V. Inhibition of oncogene expression by RNA-directed agents. AACR Education Book 1:338-343, 2005.
2. Stellrecht CM, Krett N, Ayres M, Rosen S, Gandhi V. 8-chloro-cAMP serves as a prodrug for the RNA directed nucleoside analog, 8-chloro-adenosine. Acute Leukemia IX: Basic Research, Experimental Approaches and Novel Therapies 9:193-199, 1/2003.


1. *Stellrecht CM, Zaman S, Gandhi V. The MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase as a Therapeutic Target in Multiple Myeloma. Journal of Leukemia 2(2):1000e107,, 5/2014.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Lung Cancer SPORE DRP
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 2/1/2016 - 8/31/2016
Title: Attacking the specific vulnerability of LKB1-mutant NSCLC to energy depletion using an ATP mimetic
Funding Source: The V Foundation for Cancer Research
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: John V. Heymach
Duration: 11/1/2013 - 10/31/2016
Title: Truncated MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Isoforms in Myeloma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2013 - 8/31/2015
Title: Targeting Met Receptor Tyrosine Kinase in Multiple Myeloma
Funding Source: Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 2/2/2012 - 2/1/2015
Title: Targeting Met Receptor Tyrosine Kinase in High-Risk Myeloma Patients
Funding Source: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Varsha Gandhi
Duration: 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2015

Last updated: 3/29/2016