Christopher J. Ricketts, Ph.D.

Christopher J. Ricketts, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Team Member of:

Dr. Ricketts studies the genetics and genomics of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in patients with inherited RCC syndromes, using multiple 'omics technologies to investigate both patient-derived tumors and cell line models.  He is part of the Branch's research program to understand the biology behind the genes that are mutated in inherited RCC syndromes and use this data to identify tumor-specific weaknesses that can be exploited by targeted therapies.

Areas of Expertise

1) genetics of familial renal cell carcinoma (RCC) syndromes, 2) genetic analysis of sporadic renal cell carcinoma, 3) epigenetic dysregulation of cancer by promoter hypermethylation, 4) altered tumor metabolism

Contact Info

Christopher J. Ricketts, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10 - Hatfield CRC, Room 1-5888
Bethesda, MD 20892-1107
Ph: 240-858-3935

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a common and deadly cancer that can present as a sporadic disease or is due to the inheritance of germline gene mutations that considerably increase a patient's susceptibility to developing RCC.  The study of the genetic causes of inherited RCC have led to major discoveries in the biology of all RCC and this has driven the production of the targeted therapies that are currently used.  My research centers on furthering our understanding of the biology behind the genes known to be associated with inherited RCC, discovering novel genes that cause RCC susceptibility, and using this knowledge to identify novel specific biological weaknesses within tumor cells that can be therapeutically exploited.

Furthermore, I have been involved in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) analyses of the major histological types of sporadic RCC that aim to fully characterize the somatic changes that occur in sporadic RCC and identify biomarkers for aggressive disease and potential response to targeted therapy.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Selected Key Publications

  1. Ricketts CJ, De Cubas AA, Fan H, Smith CC, Lang M, Reznik E, et al.
    Cell Reports. 23(1): 313-326.e5, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Cancer Genome Altas Network, Linehan WM, Spellman PT, Ricketts CJ, Creighton CJ, Fei SS, et al.
    New Engl J Med. 374(2): 135-45, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Davis CF, Ricketts CJ, Wang M, Yang L, Cherniack AD, Shen H, et al.
    Cancer Cell. 26(3): 319-30, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Sourbier C, Ricketts CJ, Matsumoto S, Crooks DR, Liao PJ, Mannes PZ, Yang Y, Wei MH, Srivastava G, Ghosh S, Chen V, Vocke CD, Merino M, Srinivasan R, Krishna MC, Mitchell JB, Pendergast AM, Rouault TA, Neckers L, Linehan WM.
    Cancer Cell. 26(6): 840-50, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Ricketts C, Woodward ER, Killick P, Morris MR, Astuti D, Latif F, Maher ER.
    J Natl Cancer Inst. 100(17): 1260-2, 2008. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Chris Ricketts obtained his Ph.D. in medical genetics in the laboratory of Prof. Timothy Barrett at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom in 2005.  There, he studied the germline genetic causes of inherited diabetes mellitus in several rare recessive disorders, including Wolfram syndrome, Alström syndrome, and Thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia syndrome.  For his postdoctoral studies, he moved within the same laboratory to work for Prof. Eamonn Maher to study inherited and sporadic forms of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and then, in 2011, joined the Urologic Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Dr. W. Marston Linehan’s lab as a Visiting Fellow. From 2012 to 2018, he worked as a Research Fellow at the NCI and was made a Staff Scientist in 2018. During this time he focused on the characterization of inherited renal cell carcinoma syndromes, the development of potential therapies for these syndromes, and was heavily involved in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) analyses of renal cell carcinoma.