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Associate Professor Gabi Dachs

Gabi Dachs

Research Associate Professor

BSc PhD(Cape Town)

Email gabi.dachs@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 364 0544

Background

Associate Professor Gabi Dachs completed her undergraduate and PhD studies in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by postdoctoral work at the MRC Harwell in the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining the University of Otago in Christchurch, Associate Professor Dachs worked as senior scientist at the Gray Cancer Institute in London, UK.

Research interests

Associate Professor Gabi Dachs is interested in why human tumours are difficult to treat, and in new ways of treating them.

Current research interests at present include:

  • Can we dampen the activity of the global transcription factor HIF-1 using vitamin C? Can we reduce tumour growth in mice using vitamin C? Can we increase vitamin C in cancer cells using gene therapy? What is the relationship between ascorbate and HIF-1 in tumours from kidney cancer patients?
  • Why do obese cancer patients often fare worse than non-obese patients? Can we identify the molecular factors associated with obesity in cancer? What effect do these obesity-related factors have on chemotherapy?
  • Which human enzymes are responsible for the activation of novel anticancer prodrugs (in collaboration with Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre)? Can this knowledge guide clinical use of these agents?
  • Can we improve gene directed enzyme prodrug therapy combinations to target solid tumours or their vasculature?

In the media

Associate Professor Gabi Dachs was featured in Radio New Zealand's The Science Of... Vitamin C in August 2017.

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Publications

Robinson, B., Currie, M., Phillips, E., Dachs, G., Strother, M., Morrin, H., Davey, V., & Frampton, C. (2017). Body mass index (BMI): Association with clinicopathological factors and outcome of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1451), 46-56. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Wohlrab, C., Phillips, E., & Dachs, G. U. (2017). Vitamin C transporters in cancer: Current understanding and gaps in knowledge. Frontiers in Oncology, 7, 74. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00074

Campbell, E. J., Vissers, M. C. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2016). Ascorbate availability affects tumor implantation-take rate and increases tumor rejection in Gulo-/- mice. Hypoxia, 4, 41-52. doi: 10.2147/HP.S103088

Campbell, E. J., Vissers, M. C. M., Wohlrab, C., Hicks, K. O., Strother, R. M., Bozonet, S. M., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2016). Pharmacokinetic and anti-cancer properties of high dose ascorbate in solid tumours of ascorbate-dependent mice. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 99, 451-462. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.08.027

Bonifert, G., Folkes, L., Gmeiner, C., Dachs, G., & Spadiut, O. (2016). Recombinant horseradish peroxidase variants for targeted cancer treatment. Cancer Medicine, 5(6), 1194-1203. doi: 10.1002/cam4.668

Journal - Research Article

Robinson, B., Currie, M., Phillips, E., Dachs, G., Strother, M., Morrin, H., Davey, V., & Frampton, C. (2017). Body mass index (BMI): Association with clinicopathological factors and outcome of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1451), 46-56. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Wohlrab, C., Phillips, E., & Dachs, G. U. (2017). Vitamin C transporters in cancer: Current understanding and gaps in knowledge. Frontiers in Oncology, 7, 74. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00074

Bonifert, G., Folkes, L., Gmeiner, C., Dachs, G., & Spadiut, O. (2016). Recombinant horseradish peroxidase variants for targeted cancer treatment. Cancer Medicine, 5(6), 1194-1203. doi: 10.1002/cam4.668

Campbell, E. J., Vissers, M. C. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2016). Ascorbate availability affects tumor implantation-take rate and increases tumor rejection in Gulo-/- mice. Hypoxia, 4, 41-52. doi: 10.2147/HP.S103088

Campbell, E. J., Vissers, M. C. M., Wohlrab, C., Hicks, K. O., Strother, R. M., Bozonet, S. M., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2016). Pharmacokinetic and anti-cancer properties of high dose ascorbate in solid tumours of ascorbate-dependent mice. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 99, 451-462. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.08.027

Campbell, E. J., Vissers, M. C. M., Bozonet, S., Dyer, A., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2015). Restoring physiological levels of ascorbate slows tumor growth and moderates HIF-1 pathway activity in Gulo−/− mice. Cancer Medicine, 4(2), 303-314. doi: 10.1002/cam4.349

Dachs, G. U., Phillips, E., Phung, Y., Dyer, A., Willis, J. A., Currie, M. J., & Robinson, B. A. (2015). Tumour growth in mice resistant to diet-induced obesity. Journal of Molecular Biochemistry, 4(2), 42-49.

Flett, T., Campbell, E. J., Phillips, E., Vissers, M. C. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2014). Gulonolactone addition to human hepatocellular carcinoma cells with gene transfer of gulonolactone oxidase restores ascorbate biosynthesis and reduces hypoxia inducible factor 1. Biomedicines, 2(1), 98-109. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines2010098

Volkova, E., Robinson, B. A., Willis, J., Currie, M. J., & Dachs, G. U. (2014). Marginal effects of glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor on chemotherapy response in endothelial and colorectal cancer cells. Oncology Letters, 7(2), 311-320. doi: 10.3892/ol.2013.1710

Kuiper, C., Dachs, G. U., Munn, D., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Pearson, J. F., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2014). Increased tumour ascorbate is associated with extended disease-free survival and decreased hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activation in human colorectal cancer. Frontiers in Oncology, 4, 10. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00010

Kuiper, C., Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2014). Intracellular ascorbate enhances hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-hydroxylase activity and preferentially suppresses the HIF-1 transcriptional response. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 69, 308-317. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.01.033

Vissers, M. C. M., Kuiper, C., & Dachs, G. U. (2014). Regulation of the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases and implications for cancer. Biochemical Society Transactions, 42(4), 945-951. doi: 10.1042/bst20140118

Currie, M. J., Beardsley, B. E., Harris, G. C., Gunningham, S. P., Dachs, G. U., Dijkstra, B., Morrin, H. R., Wells, J. E., & Robinson, B. A. (2013). Immunohistochemical analysis of cancer stem cell markers in invasive breast carcinoma and associated ductal carcinoma in situ: Relationships with markers of tumor hypoxia and microvascularity. Human Pathology, 44(3), 402-411. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2012.06.004

Guise, C. P., Abbattista, M. R., Tipparaju, S. R., Lambie, N. K., Su, J., Li, D., … Dachs, G. U., & Patterson, A. V. (2012). Diflavin oxidoreductases activate the bioreductive prodrug PR-104A under hypoxia. Molecular Pharmacology, 81(1), 31-40. doi: 10.1124/mol.111.073759

Hunt, M. A., Li, D., Hay, M. P., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Patterson, A. V., & Dachs, G. U. (2012). Characterisation of enzyme prodrug gene therapy combinations in coated spheroids and vascular networks in vitro. Journal of Gene Medicine, 14(1), 62-74. doi: 10.1002/jgm.1635

Volkova, E., Willis, J. A., Wells, J. E., Robinson, B. A., Dachs, G. U., & Currie, M. J. (2011). Association of angiopoietin-2, C-reactive protein and markers of obesity and insulin resistance with survival outcome in colorectal cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 104, 51-59. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606005

MacKenzie, K. A., Miller, A. P., Hock, B. D., Gardner, J., Simcock, J. W., Roake, J. A., Dachs, G. U., Robinson, B. A., & Currie, M. J. (2011). Angiogenesis and host immune response contribute to the aggressive character of non-melanoma skin cancers in renal transplant recipients. Histopathology, 58(6), 875-885. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.03845.x

Dachs, G. U., Kano, M., Volkova, E., Morrin, H. R., Davey, V. C. L., Harris, G. C., … Frampton, C., Currie, M. J., Wells, J. E., & Robinson, B. A. (2010). A profile of prognostic and molecular factors in European and Māori breast cancer patients. BMC Cancer, 10, 543. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-543

Tupper, J., Stratford, M. R., Hill, S., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2010). In vivo characterization of horseradish peroxidase with indole-3-acetic acid and 5-bromoindole-3-acetic acid for gene therapy of cancer. Cancer Gene Therapy, 17(6), 420-428. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2009.86

Kuiper, C., Molenaar, I. G. M., Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., Sykes, P. H., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2010). Low ascorbate levels are associated with increased hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activity and an aggressive tumor phenotype in endometrial cancer. Cancer Research, 70(14), 5749-5758. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0263

Guise, C. P., Abbattista, M. R., Singleton, R. S., Holford, S. D., Connolly, J., Dachs, G. U., Fox, S. B., Pollock, R., Harvey, J., Guilford, P., … Patterson, A. V. (2010). The bioreductive prodrug PR-104A is activated under aerobic conditions by human aldo-keto reductase 1C3. Cancer Research, 70(4), 1573-1584. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3237

Hunt, M. A., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2010). Optimizing transfection of primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells using commercially available chemical transfection reagents. Journal of Biomolecular Techniques, 21, 66-72.

Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., Mckenzie, F., Jeffreys, M., Cox, B., Foliaki, S., … Robinson, B. A. (2008). Cancer disparities in indigenous Polynesian populations: Māori, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific people. Lancet Oncology, 9(5), 473-484. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70127-X

Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Morrin, H. R., Tan, E. Y., Turley, H., Dachs, G. U., Watson, A. I., Frampton, C., Robinson, B. A., & Fox, S. B. (2007). The angiogenic factor thymidine phosphorylase up-regulates the cell adhesion molecule P-selectin in human vascular endothelial cells and is asociated with P-selectin expression in breast cancers. Journal of Pathology, 212, 335-344.

Vissers, M. C. M., Gunningham, S. P., Morrison, M. J., Dachs, G. U., & Currie, M. J. (2007). Modulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha in cultured primary cells by intracellular ascorbate. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 42, 765-772.

Dachs, G. U., Steele, A. J., Coralli, C., Kanthou, C., Brooks, A. C., Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Watson, A. I., Robinson, B. A., & Tozer, G. M. (2006). Anti-vascular agent Combretastatin A-4-P modulates hypoxia inducible factor-I and gene expression. BMC Cancer, 6, 280. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-6-280

Williams, K. J., Telfer, B. A., Xenaki, D., Sheridan, M. R., Desbaillets, I., Peters, H. J. W., … Dachs, G. U., … Stratford, I. J. (2005). Enhanced response to radiotherapy in tumours deficient in the function of hypoxia-inducible factor-1. Radiotherapy & Oncology, 75, 89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2005.01.009

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Journal - Research Other

Dachs, G. U., Munn, D. G., Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Robinson, B. A. (2014). Consumption of vitamin C is below recommended daily intake in many cancer patients and healthy volunteers in Christchurch. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1390). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

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