Christine M. Heske, M.D.

Christine M. Heske, M.D.
Physician-Scientist Early Investigator
Head, Translational Sarcoma Biology Group

Dr. Heske is a physician scientist with a laboratory and clinical research focus on novel therapeutic agents for pediatric sarcomas including rhabdomyosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. Specifically, she seeks to identify and evaluate new therapeutic targets for these cancers by understanding the mechanisms behind therapeutic resistance and developing strategies to overcome such resistance through targeting tumor metabolism and DNA damage repair.

Areas of Expertise

1) pediatric sarcoma, 2) tumor metabolism, 3) DNA damage and repair, 4) early phase clinical trials

Contact Info

Christine M. Heske, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10-CRC, Room 1-3816
Bethesda, MD 20892-1104
Ph: 240-760-6197

Dr. Heske's focus is on translational and clinical research in the area of pediatric sarcomas. Her program goal is to improve outcomes for patients with pediatric-type sarcomas by elucidating mechanisms of resistance and identifying and evaluating new therapeutic targets.

Her major projects in the lab focus on understanding and targeting the biologic vulnerabilities in tumor metabolism and DNA repair in pediatric-type sarcomas such as Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.

In addition to conducting preclinical research, Dr. Heske is invested in translating promising laboratory findings into early-phase clinical trials for young patients with sarcoma. She is currently leading a phase I/II trial for patients with rhabdomyosarcoma using a promising combination therapy and is developing several additional trials based on work in her lab.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Yeung C, Gibson AE, Issaq SH, Oshima N, Baumgart JT, Edessa LD, Rai G, Urban DJ, Johnson MS, Benavides GA, Squadrito GL, Yohe ME, Lei H, Eldridge S, Hamre J 3rd, Dowdy T, Ruiz-Rodado V, Lita A, Mendoza A, Shern JF, Larion M, Helman LJ, Stott GM, Krishna MC, Hall MD, Darley-Usmar V, Neckers LM, Heske CM.
    Cancer Res. 79(19): 5060-73, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Heske CM, Davis MI, Baumgart JT, Wilson K, Gormally MV, Chen L, Zhang X, Ceribelli M, Duveau DY, Guha R, Ferrer M, Arnaldez FI, Tran HL, Zhang Y, Mendoza A, Helman LJ, Thomas CJ.
    Clin Cancer Res. 23(23): 7301-7311, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Heske CM, Yeung C, Mendoza A, Baumgart JT, Edessa LD, Wan X, Helman LJ
    Translational Oncology. 9(6): 540-547, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Heske CM, Mendoza A, Edessa LD, Baumgart JT, Lee S, Trepel J, Proia DA, Neckers L, Helman LJ
    Oncotarget. 7(40): 65540-65552., 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Wan X, Yeung C, Heske C, Mendoza A, Helman LJ.
    Neoplasia. 17: 358-366, 2015. [ Journal Article ]

After completing her undergraduate work at Harvard University, Dr. Heske received her M.D. from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at Brown University/Hasbro Children's Hospital, followed by her fellowship training at the combined National Cancer Institute-Johns Hopkins University Pediatric Hematology and Oncology program.

Dr. Heske is board certified in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and is currently a Physician-Scientist Early Investigator in the POB.

Name Position
Choh Yeung B.S. Biologist
Victor Collins B.S. Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)