Christopher Heaphy, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medicine

Christopher Heaphy


Dr. Christopher Heaphy is a cancer biologist that has been conducting basic and translational studies focused on elucidating the role of telomere alterations across a range of cancer types (e.g. prostate, breast, brain, pancreatic, ovarian). Overall, his research program uses a combination of tissue-based, cell-based, and molecular approaches to study normal and abnormal telomere biology as it relates to cancer initiation and progression, with a particular interest in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) phenotype – a telomerase-independent telomere maintenance mechanism. In addition, his laboratory focuses on how these findings may be readily translated into accurately predicting cancer risk, early detection, prognosis, and potential response to targeted therapies. Dr. Heaphy received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and did his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is currently affiliated with Boston Medical Center and is a member of the Boston University-Boston Medical Center (BU-BMC) Cancer Center.

Other Positions

  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University


  • University of New Mexico School of Medicine, PhD
  • University of New Mexico, BS


  • Published on 8/1/2020

    Pieterman CRC, Sadowski SM, Maxwell JE, Katz MHG, Lines KE, Heaphy CM, Tirosh A, Blau JE, Perrier ND, Lewis MA, Metzcar JP, Halperin DM, Thakker RV, Valk GD. HEREDITARY ENDOCRINE TUMOURS: CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: MEN1-related pancreatic NETs: identification of unmet clinical needs and future directives. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2020 Aug; 27(8):T9-T25. PMID: 32069215.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2020

    Hackeng WM, Schelhaas W, Morsink FHM, Heidsma CM, van Eeden S, Valk GD, Vriens MR, Heaphy CM, Nieveen van Dijkum EJM, Offerhaus GJA, Dreijerink KMA, Brosens LAA. Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres and Differential Expression of Endocrine Transcription Factors Distinguish Metastatic and Non-metastatic Insulinomas. Endocr Pathol. 2020 Jun; 31(2):108-118. PMID: 32103422.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/28/2020

    Esopi D, Graham MK, Brosnan-Cashman JA, Meyers J, Vaghasia A, Gupta A, Kumar B, Haffner MC, Heaphy CM, De Marzo AM, Meeker AK, Nelson WG, Wheelan SJ, Yegnasubramanian S. Pervasive promoter hypermethylation of silenced TERT alleles in human cancers. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2020 May 28. PMID: 32468444.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/7/2020

    Heaphy CM, Haffner MC, Graham MK, Lim D, Davis C, Corey E, Epstein JI, Eisenberger MA, Wang H, De Marzo AM, Meeker AK, Lotan TL. Telomere lengths differ significantly between small-cell neuroendocrine prostate carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Hum Pathol. 2020 Jul; 101:70-79. PMID: 32389660.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/18/2020

    Heaphy CM, Bi WL, Coy S, Davis C, Gallia GL, Santagata S, Rodriguez FJ. Telomere length alterations and ATRX/DAXX loss in pituitary adenomas. Mod Pathol. 2020 Aug; 33(8):1475-1481. PMID: 32203094.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2020

    Pea A, Yu J, Marchionni L, Noe M, Luchini C, Pulvirenti A, de Wilde RF, Brosens LA, Rezaee N, Javed A, Chianchiano P, Gobbo S, Regi P, Salvia R, Bassi C, He J, Weiss MJ, Cameron JL, Offerhaus GJA, Hruban RH, Lawlor RT, Scarpa A, Heaphy CM, Wood LD, Wolfgang CL. Genetic Analysis of Small Well-differentiated Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors Identifies Subgroups With Differing Risks of Liver Metastases. Ann Surg. 2020 03; 271(3):566-573. PMID: 30339629.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/25/2020

    Kim JY, Brosnan-Cashman JA, Kim J, An S, Lee KB, Kim H, Park DY, Jang KT, Oh YH, Hruban RH, Heaphy CM, Hong SM. Pancreatic acinar cell carcinomas and mixed acinar-neuroendocrine carcinomas are more clinically aggressive than grade 1 pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. Pathology. 2020 Apr; 52(3):336-347. PMID: 32111396.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/31/2020

    Felsenstein M, Trujillo MA, Huang B, Nanda N, Jiang Z, Jeong YJ, Pflüger M, Goggins MG, Hruban RH, Thompson ED, Heaphy CM, Roberts NJ, Wood LD. Generation and characterization of a cell line from an intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm of the pancreas. Lab Invest. 2020 Jul; 100(7):1003-1013. PMID: 32005909.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/13/2020

    Hempel Sullivan H, Heaphy CM, Kulac I, Cuka N, Lu J, Barber JR, De Marzo AM, Lotan TL, Joshu CE, Sfanos KS. High Extratumoral Mast Cell Counts Are Associated with a Higher Risk of Adverse Prostate Cancer Outcomes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Mar; 29(3):668-675. PMID: 31932412.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/8/2020

    Heaphy CM, Joshu CE, Barber JR, Davis C, Zarinshenas R, De Marzo AM, Lotan TL, Sfanos KS, Meeker AK, Platz EA. Racial Difference in Prostate Cancer Cell Telomere Lengths in Men with Higher Grade Prostate Cancer: A Clue to the Racial Disparity in Prostate Cancer Outcomes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020 Mar; 29(3):676-680. PMID: 31915143.

    Read at: PubMed

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