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Personlig profil

Information om forskning och undervisning

My group is focused on understanding pathogenic and drug resistance mechanisms in hematological malignancies. Working closely with the clinic, we apply research tools to patient samples for better understanding of inter- and intra-disease heterogeneity and translation of basic research findings to patient care.

Although precision treatment strategies have been achieved with cancers such as chronic myeloid leukemia, which develop and can be targeted through a single driver event, most cancers are extremely heterogeneous and result from complex genetic changes. Thus, newer, targeted therapies often have limited efficacy in broader patient populations, or the duration of response is short, as drug resistant subclones are selected for and eventually cause disease recurrence. Future cancer drug development is therefore dependent on being able to identify responding and non-responding patients, and effectively monitor and change treatment as the patient’s disease evolves.

For our research, we use a systems-wide approach to analyze samples from individual patients diagnosed with a hematological malignancy. By combining genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and functional ex vivo drug sensitivity testing of the patient’s tumor cells and comparing these data to that of normal cells, we get a broad view of genomic and phenotypic changes that have occurred in the tumor and which could potentially be therapeutically targeted. In addition, we analyze samples acquired at different stages of the patient’s disease (e.g. diagnosis, during treatment response and relapse) for better insight of disease progression mechanisms and understanding the impact of therapy on the patient’s tumor. Working closely with the FIMM Technology Centre and our collaborators, we quickly return our results to the clinic to maximize the amount of data available for guiding treatment decision of patients with relapsed or refractory disease.

Meritförteckning

EDUCATION

1996    PhD, Cancer Biology Program, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, Texas, USA (https://gsbs.uth.edu)

1989    BA, Biological Sciences, 1989, University of Chicago, Biological Sciences, Chicago, Illinois, USA (http://college.uchicago.edu

 

CURRENT POSITIONS

2010 – now      Group Leader, Senior Researcher, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

2012 – now      Principal Investigator, Medicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland

 

PREVIOUS POSITIONS

2004 – 2010    Senior Researcher, Molecular/Cancer Biology Laboratory, University of Helsinki, Finland

2001 – 2004    Research Associate/Senior Researcher, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Stanford, California, USA

1996 – 2004    Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Stanford, California, USA

 

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

Academy of Finland, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Thoracic Society, Cancer Society of Finland, Henzl-Gabor Fellowship for Women in Science, The LAM Foundation, Pulmonary Association Heli, University of Helsinki Business Collaborator of the Year, Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation

 

SUPERVISION OF GRADUATE STUDENTS AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

2010 – now    8 Postdoctoral Researchers, 10 PhD Students, 5 Master's Students, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

 

TEACHING ACTIVITIES

2018 – now     Lecturer – Cancer Biology Course, TRANSMED Master's Program, University of Helsinki

2015               Lecturer – Cancer Race Course, Doctoral Program in Biomedicine, University of Helsinki

2014, 2018      Organizer – “Innovate, Protect and Spin It Off” Course, University of Helsinki

2012 – 2017    Seminar & Practical Writing Skills Course, University of Helsinki

 

INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

2018 – 2020    Member of the Steering Group for University Business Collaboration and Innovation, University of Helsinki, Finland

2017 – now      Member of the Doctoral Training Committee, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

2016 – now      Principal Investigator of the Meilahti Integrated Biobank Infrastructure, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

2015 – now      Member of the Doctoral Thesis Committee, 2 students, University of Helsinki, Finland

2015 – now      Member of the Advisory Committee for the FIMM Postdoctoral Association, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

2012 – now      Member of the Steering Group, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland

2011 – now      Member of the Working Group for the Finnish Hematology Registry and Biobank, Finland

 

REVIEWING ACTIVITES

Review panel member: Research Council of Norway, Foundation for Strategic Research Sweden, Swedish Research Council, Vienna Science and Technology Fund

External reviewer: Wellcome Trust UK, University of Eastern Finland, Swiss Cancer League

Doctoral dissertation opponent: Yanara Marincevic-Zuniga, Uppsala University, Sweden (2018); Chinh Bkrong Nguyen, University of Oslo, Norway (2018)

Doctoral dissertation examination committee member: Johan Lund, Karolinska Institute, Sweden (2017)

Advisory board member: Blood Cancer Network Ireland (2016-now)

Editorial review board member: Journal of Personalized Medicine

Manuscripts: >25 scientific journals including Blood, Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, Genome Research, Haematologica, Leukemia, Leukemia Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oncogene

Abstract reviewer for international conferences: American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, European Hematology Association Annual Congress

 

MEMBERSHIPS OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, European Hematology Association, European School of Hematology, Nordic Myeloma Study Group

 

POSITIONS OF TRUST 

Executive board member: European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI) - Finland (2018-now)

 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Hematological malignancies, molecular oncology, precision medicine, genomic and transcriptomic analyses, next generation sequencing, high throughput screening, translational cancer research, systems biology, biobanking

 

PUBLICATIONS

Number of original research articles in refereed scientific journals: 54

Number of original contributions to refereed scientific conferences: 140

Number of review articles and book chapters: 4

h-index: 25

i10-index: 35

Web address to list of publications:

https://scholar.google.fi/citations?user=JO2HFYEAAAAJ&hl=en

Keywords

  • 3111 Biomedicinska vetenskaper
  • 3122 Cancersjukdomar
  • 1182 Biokemi, cell- och molekylärbiologi

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.

Publikationer 1995 2019

Dasatinib and navitoclax act synergistically to target NUP98-NSD1(+)/FLT3-ITD+ acute myeloid leukemia

Kivioja, J. L., Thanasopoulou, A., Kumar, A., Kontro, M., Yadav, B., Majumder, M. M., Javarappa, K. K., Eldfors, S., Schwaller, J., Porkka, K. & Heckman, C. A., jun 2019, I : Leukemia. 33, 6, s. 1360-1372 13 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Drug combination sensitivity scoring facilitates the discovery of synergistic and efficacious drug combinations in cancer

Malyutina, A., Majumder, M. M., Wang, W., Pessia, A., Heckman, C. A. & Tang, J., 20 maj 2019, I : PLoS Computational Biology. 15, 5, s. e1006752 19 s., 1006752.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång
Fil

Hemap: An Interactive Online Resource for Characterizing Molecular Phenotypes across Hematologic Malignancies

Pölönen, P., Mehtonen, J., Lin, J., Liuksiala, T., Häyrynen, S., Teppo, S., Mäkinen, A., Kumar, A., Malani, D., Pohjolainen, V., Porkka, K., Heckman, C. A., May, P., Hautamäki, V., Granberg, K. J., Lohi, O., Nykter, M. & Heinäniemi, M., 15 maj 2019, I : Cancer Research. 79, 10, s. 2466-2479 14 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång
Fil

Making Sense of the Epigenome Using Data Integration Approaches

Cazaly, E., Saad, J., Wang, W., Heckman, C., Ollikainen, M. & Tang, J., 19 feb 2019, I : Frontiers in Pharmacology. 10, 15 s., 126.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång
Fil

Projekter 2009 2011

Lymphangiomatosis and LAM

Heckman, C.

01/01/200930/04/2011

Projekt: Forskningsprojekt

Aktiviteter 2011 2019

The NUP98-NSD1 fusion gene in acute myeloid leukemia

Caroline Heckman (Handledare)
31 maj 2019

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperHandledare eller bihandledare av doktorsavhandling

Resolving the Genomic Complexity of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Caroline Heckman (Opponent)
25 maj 2018

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperOpponent i doktorsavhandling

Molecular Biology of Adolescent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Studies on Genetic Markers and Gene Expression

Caroline Heckman (Opponent)
23 nov 2018

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperOpponent i doktorsavhandling

Targeting key survival signaling pathways for the treatment of leukemia

Caroline Heckman (Handledare)
28 sep 2018

Aktivitet: ExaminationstyperHandledare eller bihandledare av doktorsavhandling