University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Claudia Petritsch, PhD

Claudia Petritsch, PhD

Associate Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center and Department of Neurological Surgery; and Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Neurologic Oncology

Research Summary

Stem and progenitor cells can switch between asymmetric and symmetric cell division modes presumably to respond to micro-environment changes such as those induced by tissue injury and cancer. The Petritsch lab elucidates the regulation of cell division mode of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). We use OPCs as a model system to understand the impact of changes in cell division mode, both by intrinsic and extrinsic factors and in the context of the healthy and diseased brain. Our findings show that aberrant control of cell division mode carries the risk of cancer initiation and progression. In a collaborative effort, we translate our basic insights into stem and progenitor biology into improved treatment of brain tumor patients.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1996: Ph.D.: Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP) 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: Group Leader, 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

2008-2015: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco

2015-present: Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco


University of Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, MS, BA, 1985 -1991, Cell and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
University of Vienna BioCenter, Vienna, PhD, 1991-1996, Cell & Molecular Biology
Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Postdoc, 1996-1997
University of California, San Francisco, Dept of Physiology, Postdoc, 1997-2002

Professional Experience

  • 2002-2003
    Postgraduate Researcher, Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2003-2005
    Investigator, GeneCenter and Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Munich
  • 2005-2008
    Associate Research Biochemist, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2008-present
    Assistant Professor, Brain Tumor Research Center and Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Diploma Fellowship, Institute of Molecular Pathology
  • 1991-96
    PhD Fellowship, Institute for Molecular Pathology
  • 1993
    European Molecular Biology Organisation short-term fellowship
  • 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
    PO 1 Research Grant; German Research Council (DFG) # SFB 413
  • 2004
    PO 1 Research Grant; German Research Council (DFG) # SFB 413
  • 2004-06
    Award for Outstanding Women in Life Sciences (University of Munich)
  • 2005-06
    Bavarian California Technology Award
  • 2006
    California Breast Cancer Research Program/CBRCP, IDEA Award, San Francisco, USA
  • 2007-2008
    National Brain Tumor Foundation, Oligodendroglioma Award, San Francisco, USA
  • 2007-2008
    Brain Tumor SPORE, Career Development Research Award, San Francisco, USA
  • 2010
    American Brain Tumor Association, Discovery Award, Des Plaines, USA

Selected Publications

  1. Daynac M, Petritsch CK. Regulation of Asymmetric Cell Division in Mammalian Neural Stem and Cancer Precursor Cells. Results Probl Cell Differ. 2017; 61:375-399.
    View on PubMed
  2. Grossauer S, Koeck K, Murphy NE, Meyers ID, Daynac M, Truffaux N, Truong AY, Nicolaides TP, McMahon M, Berger MS, Phillips JJ, James CD, Petritsch CK. Concurrent MEK targeted therapy prevents MAPK pathway reactivation during BRAFV600E targeted inhibition in a novel syngeneic murine glioma model. Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 15; 7(46):75839-75853.
    View on PubMed
  3. Andor N, Graham TA, Jansen M, Xia LC, Aktipis CA, Petritsch C, Ji HP, Maley CC. Pan-cancer analysis of the extent and consequences of intratumor heterogeneity. Nat Med. 2016 Jan; 22(1):105-13.
    View on PubMed
  4. Lerner RG, Grossauer S, Kadkhodaei B, Meyers I, Sidorov M, Koeck K, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Nicolaides T, James CD, Petritsch CK. Targeting a Plk1-Controlled Polarity Checkpoint in Therapy-Resistant Glioblastoma-Propagating Cells. Cancer Res. 2015 Dec 15; 75(24):5355-66.
    View on PubMed
  5. Bakhoum SF, Kabeche L, Wood MD, Laucius CD, Qu D, Laughney AM, Reynolds GE, Louie RJ, Phillips J, Chan DA, Zaki BI, Murnane JP, Petritsch C, Compton DA. Numerical chromosomal instability mediates susceptibility to radiation treatment. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 21; 6:5990.
    View on PubMed
  6. Hashizume R, Andor N, Ihara Y, Lerner R, Gan H, Chen X, Fang D, Huang X, Tom MW, Ngo V, Solomon D, Mueller S, Paris PL, Zhang Z, Petritsch C, Gupta N, Waldman TA, James CD. Pharmacologic inhibition of histone demethylation as a therapy for pediatric brainstem glioma. Nat Med. 2014 Dec; 20(12):1394-6.
    View on PubMed
  7. Berberoglu MA, Dong Z, Li G, Zheng J, Trejo Martinez Ldel C, Peng J, Wagle M, Reichholf B, Petritsch C, Li H, Pleasure SJ, Guo S. Heterogeneously expressed fezf2 patterns gradient Notch activity in balancing the quiescence, proliferation, and differentiation of adult neural stem cells. J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 15; 34(42):13911-23.
    View on PubMed
  8. Lerner RG, Petritsch C. A microRNA-operated switch of asymmetric-to-symmetric cancer stem cell divisions. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Mar; 16(3):212-4.
    View on PubMed
    View on PubMed
  10. Andor N, Harness JV, Müller S, Mewes HW, Petritsch C. EXPANDS: expanding ploidy and allele frequency on nested subpopulations. Bioinformatics. 2014 Jan 01; 30(1):50-60.
    View on PubMed
  11. Gómez-López S, Lerner RG, Petritsch C. Asymmetric cell division of stem and progenitor cells during homeostasis and cancer. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Feb; 71(4):575-97.
    View on PubMed
  12. Huillard E, Hashizume R, Phillips JJ, Griveau A, Ihrie RA, Aoki Y, Nicolaides T, Perry A, Waldman T, McMahon M, Weiss WA, Petritsch C, James CD, Rowitch DH. Cooperative interactions of BRAFV600E kinase and CDKN2A locus deficiency in pediatric malignant astrocytoma as a basis for rational therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 29; 109(22):8710-5.
    View on PubMed
  13. 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 Sep 13; 20(3):328-40.
    View on PubMed
  14. 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 Jun; 138(11):2185-96.
    View on PubMed
  15. 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 Dec 14; 18(6):669-82.
    View on PubMed
  16. 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 Jun 24; 6:14.
    View on PubMed
  17. 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 May 01; 121(Pt 9):1403-14.
    View on PubMed
  18. 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 Jun; 10(3):254-64.
    View on PubMed
  19. 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 Mar; 13(3):206-20.
    View on PubMed
  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 Jul; 122(7-8):914-27.
    View on PubMed

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