Christopher Clarke

imageAssistant Professor of Research

BSc (Hons), University of Salford, UK, 2001                                
Ph.D, University of Manchester, UK, 2005

Contact Info
Office Phone: 631-444-6071

Research Interest
Deregulation of cellular sphingolipid levels has been found to occur in many cancers but it it is unknown if this dysregulation helps to drive tumorigenesis, and the factors that cause this dysregulation are unclear. This lack of a mechanistic understanding of how sphingolipids are coupled to tumor behavior remains a critical barrier that has contributed in part to a long-delayed translation of sphingolipid metabolism as an effective druggable target for cancer. To address this knowledge gap, the overarching goal of my research program is to develop a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between oncogenes and SL metabolism, how this functionally couples to tumorigenesis, and how this can be exploited therapeutically. This would be used to  guide the development of anti-cancer drugs targeting ‘tumor-type’ specific sphingolipid metabolism, an attractive approach as most metabolic outputs are enzymatically driven and such enzymes are highly druggable.

At present, I have two major research projects:

1. Oncogenic reprogamming of sphingolipid metabolism as a driver of anoikis resistance and metastasis

2. Targeting sphingolipid metabolism to reduce doxorubicin cardiotoxicity without interfering with its anti-cancer effects.