Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

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

I did my undergraduate and PhD studies in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by post-doctoral work at the MRC in Harwell, UK.

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

Research Interests

I am interested in why human tumours are difficult to treat, and in new ways of treating them.

My 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?

^ Top of page

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

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., 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

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

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

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

Kanthou, C., Dachs, G. U., Lefley, D. V., Steele, A. J., Coralli-Foxon, C., Harris, S., … Tozer, G. M. (2014). Tumour cells expressing single VEGF isoforms display distinct growth, survival and migration characteristics. PLoS ONE, 9(8), e104015. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104015

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

Campbell, E. J., & Dachs, G. U. (2014). Current limitations of murine models in oncology for ascorbate research. Frontiers in Oncology, 4, 282. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00282

Wang, J., Guise, C. P., Dachs, G. U., Phung, Y., Hsu, A. H.-L., Lambie, N. K., … Wilson, W. R. (2014). Identification of one-electron reductases that activate both the hypoxia prodrug SN30000 and diagnostic probe EF5. Biochemical Pharmacology, 91(4), 436-446. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.08.003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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., 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

Dachs, G. U., Hunt, M. A., Syddall, S., Singleton, D. C., & Patterson, A. V. (2009). Bystander or no bystander for gene directed enzyme prodrug therapy. Molecules, 14(11), 4517-4545. doi: 10.3390/molecules14114517

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

Dachs, G. U., Tupper, J., & Tozer, G. M. (2005). From bench to bedside for gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy of cancer. Anti-Cancer Drugs, 16, 349-359.

Morrin, H., Gunningham, S., Currie, M., Dachs, G., Fox, S., & Robinson, B. (2005). The Christchurch Tissue Bank to support cancer research. New Zealand Medical Journal, 118(1225). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/118-1225/1735/content.pdf

Dachs, G. U., Greco, O., & Tozer, G. M. (2004). Targeting cancer with gene therapy using hypoxia as a stimulus. Methods in Molecular Medicine, 90, 371-387.

Tupper, J., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2004). Use of horseradish peroxidase for gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy with paracetamol. British Journal of Cancer, 90(9), 1858-1862.

Tupper, J., Greco, O., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2004). Analysis of the horseradish peroxidase/indole-3-acetic acid combination in a three-dimensional tumor model. Cancer Gene Therapy, 11(7), 508-513.

Cemazar, M., Wilson, I., Dachs, G. U., Tozer, G. M., & Sersa, G. (2004). Direct visualization of electroporation-assisted in vivo gene delivery to tumors using intravital microscopy: Spatial and time dependent distribution. BMC Cancer, 4(81). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/4/81

Greco, O., Marples, B., Dachs, G., Williams, K. J., Patterson, A. V., Scott, S. D., & Hsieh, J. T. (2003). Novel chimeric gene promoters responsive to hypoxia and ionizing radiation. Urologic Oncology, 21(4), 314.

Greco, O., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2002). Oxic and anoxic enhancement of radiation-mediated toxicity by horseradish peroxidase/indole-3-acetic acid gene therapy. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 78(3), 173-181.

Folkes, L. K., Greco, O., Dachs, G. U., Stratford, M. R. L., & Wardman, P. (2002). 5-fluoroindole-3-acetic acid: A prodrug activated by a peroxidase with potential for use in targeted cancer therapy. Biochemical Pharmacology, 63, 265-272.

Greco, O., Marples, B., Dachs, G. U., Williams, K. J., Patterson, A. V., & Scott, S. D. (2002). Novel chimeric gene promoters responsive to hypoxia and ionizing radiation. Human Gene Therapy, 9, 1403-1411.

Greco, O., Dachs, G. U., Tozer, G. M., & Kanthou, C. (2002). Mechanisms of cytotoxicity induced by horseradish peroxidase/indole-3-acetic acid gene therapy. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 87, 221-232.

Cemazar, M., Sersa, G., Wilson, J., Tozer, G. M., Hart, S. L., Grosel, A., & Dachs, G. U. (2002). Effective gene transfer to solid tumors using different nonviral gene delivery techniques: Electroporation, liposomes, and integrin-targeted vector. Cancer Gene Therapy, 9, 399-406.

Greco, O., Rossiter, S., Kanthou, C., Folkes, L. K., Wardman, P., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2001). Horseradish peroxidase-mediated gene therapy: Choice of prodrugs in oxic and anoxic tumor conditions. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 1, 151-160.

Coralli, C., Cemazar, M., Kanthou, C., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2001). Limitations of the reporter green fluorescent protein under simulated tumor conditions. Cancer Research, 61, 4784-4790.

Greco, O., & Dachs, G. U. (2001). Gene directed enzyme/prodrug therapy of cancer: Historical appraisal and future prospectives. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 187, 22-36.

Dachs, G. U., & Tozer, G. M. (2000). Hypoxia modulated gene expression: Angiogenesis, metastasis and therapeutic exploitation. European Journal of Cancer, 36, 1649-1660.

Greco, O., Patterson, A. V., & Dachs, G. U. (2000). Can gene therapy overcome the problem of hypoxia in radiotherapy? Journal of Radiation Research, 41, 201-212.

Dachs, G. U., Coralli, C., Hart, S. L., & Tozer, G. M. (2000). Gene delivery to hypoxic cells in vitro. British Journal of Cancer, 83(5), 662-667.

Greco, O., Folkes, L. K., Wardman, P., Tozer, G. M., & Dachs, G. U. (2000). Development of a novel enzyme/prodrug combination for gene therapy of cancer: Horseradish peroxidase/indole-3-acetic acid. Cancer Gene Therapy, 7(11), 1414-1420.

More publications...