Where Ideas Grow
Cristina Xavier
Post-doctoral Fellow

Cristina Xavier is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Cancer Drug Resistance Group of i3S/IPATIMUP, Porto, Portugal. 

Cristina graduated in Applied Biology from the University of Minho (Portugal) in 2006 having completed a final Project as a Trainee in IPO (Portuguese Institute of Oncology), Porto supervised by Prof. Doutor Lúcio Lara Santos. In 2010 Cristina completed a European PhD degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Minho (Portugal) in collaboration with IPATIMUP, Porto (Portugal) and with the Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen (Denmark), supervised by Prof. Doutora Cristina Pereira-Wilson and Prof. Doutora Raquel Seruca with collaboration from Marja Jaattela and Mikkel Rohde. During her PhD studies, Cristina Xavier focused on studying the anticarcinogenic potential of dietary natural compounds on colorectal carcinoma, specifically with effects on signaling pathways related to proliferation and cell death.  

In 2012 Cristina moved to the UK and started a 3-year Postdoc contract (2012-2015) under the supervision of Professor Spiros Linardopoulos in the Target Discovery and Apoptosis Team, at Cancer Therapeutic Division, Cancer Research UK Center Therapeutics Unit, Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London. She worked on the identification of new molecular targets in pancreatic cancer using a pooled lentiviral shRNA library with the targets being further validated using several molecular biological techniques. Cristina was also involved in multidisciplinary projects testing several compounds (provided by the chemistry department) in a panel of cancer cell lines of different origins and investigating their mechanism of action. She also was involved in Drug Discovery Projects by performing preclinical studies that led to the development of two compounds currently in Phase I clinical trials. She also worked in the creation of resistant pancreatic cancer cell lines to a specific clinical drug, in order to test in house compounds capable of overcoming that resistance and improve cancer treatment in pancreatic cancer patients. From these works, she is a co-author of 2 papers: BJC, 2017 (IF:5.9) and Blood Advances, 2020 (IF:6.7).  

In 2015 Cristina moved back to Portugal where she joined the Cancer Drug Resistance Group at IPATIMUP/i3S under supervision of Prof. Doutora M. Helena Vasconcelos.  She is working as a Postdoctoral Researcher (FCT fellow)  in Vasconcelos´s group, also co-supervised by Prof. MJ Oliveira (i3S). She is interested in continuing her work in pancreatic cancer and understanding the mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs currently used in the clinic to treat pancreatic cancer patients. She also aim to understand the contribution of the immune microenvironment, more precisely of the macrophage-secreted EVs, to drug resistance in pancreatic cancer. This work was recently published, as 1st author, on Cancer Letters, 2021 (IF:8.7). Additionally, she has also been actively involved on the identification of novel drugs to counteract cancer drug resistance and studying their mechanisms of action. 

So far, Cristina Xavier is an author of 21 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She has been a team member in 3 FCT projects and 2 international projects from ICR. She also supervised/co-supervised 5 undergraduate and 7 master students (2 masters ongoing), 4 PhD student (ongoing) and 1 medical doctor research training. Along her career, she received 5 Travel Grants to attend international courses and 8 national and international best posters or oral communications awards.

She is a Guest Editor of two Special Issues, one in Molecules (IF: 4.4, “Bioactive Molecules as Multidrug Resistance Modulators"), and another in the JMCM (“Targeting the tumor microenvironment for cancer treatment”). She is also on the reviewer board on several journals, including the IJMS (IF: 4.6). She is also a work group member of COST Action (CA17104) in New diagnostic and therapeutic tools against multidrug resistant tumors.

Cristina Xavier is also involved in Science dissemination through CiênciaViva (2017, 2019) for undergraduate students, and she is one of the Science Ambassador for i3S. Recently, she becomes an  EACR Ambassador.

Selected Publications

Xavier C.P.R., Castro I., Caires H.R., Ferreira D., Cavadas B., Pereira L., Santos L.L., Oliveira M.J., Vasconcelos M.H.,
Chitinase 3-like-1 and fibronectin in the cargo of extracellular vesicles shed by human macrophages influence pancreatic cancer cellular response to gemcitabine. Cancer Letters501:210-223, 2021. [Journal: Article] [CI: 5] [IF: 8.7 (*)]
DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2020.11.013 SCOPUS: 85096944364.


Rebelo R., Polónia B., Santos L.L., Vasconcelos M.H., Xavier C.P.R.,
Drug repurposing opportunities in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Pharmaceuticals14(3):, 2021. [Journal: Article] [IF: 5.9 (*)]
DOI: 10.3390/ph14030280 SCOPUS: 85103114616.


Silva B.R., Rebelo R., Rodrigues J.M., Xavier C.P.R., Vasconcelos M.H., Queiroz M.J.R.P.,
Synthesis of novel methyl 3-(Hetero)arylthieno[3,2-b]pyridine-2-carboxylates and antitumor activity evaluation: Studies in vitro and in ovo grafts of chick chorioallantoic membrane (cam) with a triple negative breast cancer cell line. Molecules26(6):, 2021. [Journal: Article] [IF: 4.4 (*)]
DOI: 10.3390/molecules26061594 SCOPUS: 85103862235.


Moore A.S., Faisal A., Mak G.W.Y., Miraki-Moud F., Bavetsias V., Valenti M., Box G., Hallsworth A., de Haven Brandon A., Xavier C.P.R., Stronge R., Pearson A.D.J., Blagg J., Raynaud F.I., Chopra R., Eccles S.A., Taussig D.C., Linardopoulos S.,
Quizartinib-resistant FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukemia cells are sensitive to the FLT3-Aurora kinase inhibitor CCT241736. Blood Advances4(7):1478-1491, 2020. [Journal: Article] [CI: 5] [IF: 6.7]
DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000986 SCOPUS: 85083692406.


Xavier C.P.R., Caires H.R., Barbosa M.A.G., Bergantim R., Guimarães J.E., Vasconcelos M.H.,
The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in the Hallmarks of Cancer and Drug Resistance. Cells9(5):, 2020. [Journal: Review] [CI: 25] [IF: 6.6]
DOI: 10.3390/cells9051141 SCOPUS: 85084721560.


Vasconcelos M.H., Caires H.R., Abols A., Xavier C.P.R., Line A.,
Extracellular vesicles as a novel source of biomarkers in liquid biopsies for monitoring cancer progression and drug resistance. Drug Resistance Updates47:, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 40] [IF: 11]
DOI: 10.1016/j.drup.2019.100647 SCOPUS: 85074466138.


Assaraf Y.G., Brozovic A., Gonçalves A.C., Jurkovicova D., Line A., Machuqueiro M., Saponara S., Sarmento-Ribeiro A.B., Xavier C.P.R., Vasconcelos M.H.,
The multi-factorial nature of clinical multidrug resistance in cancer. Drug Resistance Updates46:, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 87] [IF: 11]
DOI: 10.1016/j.drup.2019.100645 SCOPUS: 85072866477.


Teixeira A., Dacunha D.C., Barros L., Caires H.R., Xavier C.P.R., Ferreira I.C.F.R., Vasconcelos M.H.,
Eucalyptus globulus Labill. decoction extract inhibits the growth of NCI-H460 cells by increasing the p53 levels and altering the cell cycle profile. Food and Function10(6):3188-3197, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 5] [IF: 4,2]
DOI: 10.1039/c8fo02466a SCOPUS: 85067554330.


Long S., Resende D.I.S.P., Kijjoa A., Silva A.M.S., Fernandes R., Xavier C.P.R., Vasconcelos M.H., Sousa E., Pinto M.M.M.,
Synthesis of new proteomimetic quinazolinone alkaloids and evaluation of their neuroprotective and antitumor effects. Molecules24(3):, 2019. [Journal: Article] [CI: 9] [IF: 3,3]
DOI: 10.3390/molecules24030534 SCOPUS: 85061053283.


Faisal A., Mak G.W.Y., Gurden M.D., Xavier C.P.R., Anderhub S.J., Innocenti P., Westwood I.M., Naud S., Hayes A., Box G., Valenti M.R., De Haven Brandon A.K., O'Fee L., Schmitt J., Woodward H.L., Burke R., Vanmontfort R.L.M., Blagg J., Raynaud F.I., Eccles S.A., Hoelder S., Linardopoulos S.,
Characterisation of CCT271850, a selective, oral and potent MPS1 inhibitor, used to directly measure in vivo MPS1 inhibition vs therapeutic efficacy. British Journal of Cancer116(9):1166-1176, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 5,9]
DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2017.75 SCOPUS: 85015928315.


Xavier C.P.R., Pesic M., Helena Vasconcelos M.,
Understanding cancer drug resistance by developing and studying resistant cell line models. Current Cancer Drug Targets16(3):226-237, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 3]
DOI: 10.2174/1568009616666151113120705 SCOPUS: 84958952995.


Pereira J.M., Lopes-Rodrigues V., Xavier C.P.R., Lima M.J., Lima R.T., Ferreira I.C.F.R., Vasconcelos M.H.,
An aqueous extract of Tuberaria lignosa inhibits cell growth, alters the cell cycle profile, and induces apoptosis of NCI-H460 tumor cells. Molecules21(5):, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 9] [IF: 2,9]
DOI: 10.3390/molecules21050595 SCOPUS: 85016396928.