University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Christopher C. Benz, MD

Christopher C. Benz, MD

Director, Cancer & Developmental Therapeutics Program, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member


University of California, Los Angeles, B.S., 1968, Biochemistry
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, M.D., 1972, Medicine
VGH/CCABC & UBC, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 1972-1978, Int Med/Hem-Onc
Yale Univ. School of Med, New Haven, CT, 1978-79, Oncology

Professional Experience

  • 1979-1982
    Postdoctoral Associate, Oncology-Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 1981-1982
    Instructor, Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 1982-1982
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 1983-1982
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1984-1982
    Director, UCSF Hormone Receptor Laboratory
  • 1988-1992
    Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF
  • 1991-present
    Faculty of Molecular Medicine, UCSF
  • 1994-present
    Professor of Medicine in Residence, UCSF (converted to Adjunct Professor, 9/2000)
  • 1994-1992
    Acting Director, UCSF Cancer Research Institute
  • 1995-present
    Member, Joint UCSF-UCB Graduate Group in Bioengineering
  • 1997-1992
    Visiting Scientist/Professor of Mol. Medicine, Univ. Basel & Friedrich Miescher Inst., Basel
  • 2000-present
    Director, Cancer and Developmental Therapeutics Program, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Selected Publications

  1. Mockus M, Prebil LA, Ereman R, Dollbaum C, Powell M, Yau C, Benz CC. First pregnancy characteristics, postmenopausal breast density, and salivary sex hormone levels in a population at high risk for breast cancer. BBA Clinical 3: 189-195, 2015. PMCID: PMC4547694.
  2. Hoadley KA et al. (Benz CC, senior co-author with Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network). Multiplatform analysis of 12 cancer types reveals molecular classification within and across tissues of origin. Cell 158: 929-944, 2014 PMCID: PMC4152462
  3. Prebil LA, Ereman RR, Powell MJ, Kerlikowske K, Shepherd JA, Hurlbert MS, Benz CC. First pregnancy events and future breast density: modification by age at first pregnancy and specific VEGF and IGF1R gene variants. Cancer Causes and Control 25: 859-868, 2014 PMCID: PMC4048469
  4. Wilson-Edell KA, Kehasse A, Scott GK, Yau C, Rothschild DE, Schilling B, Gabriel BS, Yevtushenko MA, Hanson IM, Held JM, Gibson BW, and Benz CC. RPL24: a potential therapeutic target whose depletion or acetylation inhibits polysome assembly and cancer cell growth. Oncotarget 5: 5165-5176, 2014). PMCID: PMC4148130
  5. Jupe ER, Dalessandri KM, Mulvihill JJ, Miike R, Knowlton NS, Pugh TW, Zhao LP, DeFreese DC, Manjeshwar S, Gramling BA, Wiencke JK, Benz C. A steroid metabolizing gene variant in a polyfactorial model improves risk prediction in a high incidence breast cancer population. BBA Clinical 2: 94-102, 2014.
  6. Yau C, Sninsky J, Kwok S, Wang A, Degnim A, Ingle JN, Gillett C, Tutt A, Waldman F, Moore D, Esserman L, Benz CC. An optimized five-gene multi-platform predictor of hormone receptor negative and triple negative breast cancer metastatic risk. Breast Cancer Res 15: R103, 2013. PMCID: PMC3978448
  7. Cancer Genome Atlas Network (Benz CC, writing committee). Comprehensive molecular portraits of human breast tumors. Nature 490: 61-70, 2012. PMCID: PMC3465532
  8. Held JM, Britton DJ, Scott GK, Lee EL, Schilling B, Baldwin MA, Gibson BW and Benz CC. Ligand binding promotes CDK-dependent phosphorylation of ER alpha on hinge serine 294 but inhibits ligand-independent phosphorylation of serine 305. Mol. Cancer Res. 10: 1120-1132, 2012. PMCID: PMC3950940
  9. Yau C, Esserman L, Moore DH, Waldman F, Sninsky J, and Benz CC. A multigene predictor of metastatic outcome in early stage receptor-negative and triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research 12:R85, 2010. PMCID: PMC3096978
  10. Marx C, Held JM, Gibson BW, and Benz CC. ErbB2 trafficking and degradation associated with K48 and K63 polyubiquitination. Cancer Research 70: 3709-3717, 2010. PMCID: PMC2862137
  11. Scott GK, Marx C, Berger CE, Saunders LR, Verdin E, Schäfer S, Jung M, and Benz, CC. Destabilization of ERBB2 transcripts by targeting 3’ UTR mRNA associated HuR and histone deacetylase-6 (HDAC6). Mol Cancer Res. 6: 1250-1258, 2008. PMCID: PMC2583372
  12. Benz CC, Clarke CA, and Moore DH. Geographic excess of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 12: 1523-1527, 2003.