Assoc Professor, BENG
Metabolism, system biology, mass spectrometry, flux analysis, cancer, stem cell biology
The Metallo Lab applies systems biology approaches to study metabolic pathways in mammalian cells, with a focus on understanding metabolic regulation in cancer cells and stem cells. Metabolism encompasses the biochemical reactions that our cells and bodies use to generate energy and the molecular building blocks for growth. By understanding how metabolic pathways function in tumors and other diseases we can better identify therapeutic targets for intervention in cancer and other diseases. The laboratory uses a combination of computational, genetic and analytical tools, including stable isotope tracers and mass spectrometry, to quantify metabolic fluxes in cells. These studies enable the lab to characterize how oncogenes and tumor suppressors (genes that have the potential to cause cancer) , signaling pathways, and the microenvironment control the activity of metabolic pathways and promote cancer cell growth and survival. Current projects in the Metallo Lab include investigations on the regulation and function of reductive tricarboxylic acid (TCA) metabolism in human cells, the role of hypoxia and extracellular matrix in reprogramming metabolic pathways, and the dynamic interplay between metabolism and stem cell fate choices.
Christian Metallo joined UC San Diego in 2011 and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He received his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 before joining Merck Research Laboratories to conduct bioprocess engineering research. He began his graduate studies in 2003 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2008 and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Metallo was the recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award in 2012 and a Searle Scholar Award in 2013. He received a 2015 NSF CAREER Award and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 2017.