Researcher

Dr Charles Edo de Bock

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Oncology and Carcinogenesis, Haematological Tumours, Cancer Genetics

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Biography

My area of specialty lies in the genetics of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I am particularly interested in how different mutations drive and maintain disease with a view to translate these finding into improved patient outcomes

I am primarily a molecular and cellular biologist with over 10 years’ experience performing research on haematological malignancies including 6 years post-doctoral training at the VIB/KU Leuven, Belgium. 

I have led...view more

My area of specialty lies in the genetics of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I am particularly interested in how different mutations drive and maintain disease with a view to translate these finding into improved patient outcomes

I am primarily a molecular and cellular biologist with over 10 years’ experience performing research on haematological malignancies including 6 years post-doctoral training at the VIB/KU Leuven, Belgium. 

I have led innovative research projects generating novel mouse models of leukemia that have resulted in publications within leading international journals (e.g. Cancer Discovery, Blood, Leukemia, Science Translational Medicine and Cancer Cell)

Through my research, teaching, and supervision of students, my aim is to train the next generation of scientists to make a long-lasting impact on paediatric cancer outcomes. 

 

Please feel free to reach out to enquire about potential PhD and Post-doctoral opportunites.
 


My Qualifications

2006            PhD (Cancer Biology), University of New South Wales, Australia
2000            MSc (Medical Science), First Class, University of Auckland, New Zealand
1998            BSc (Pharmacology), University of Auckland, New Zealand
 


My Awards

2017    Technology transfer and the exploitation of research, KU Leuven. Team awarded 1st place for exploitation plan.
2008    New South Wales (NSW) Office of Science and Medical Research Award for Best Postdoctoral Oral Presentation; ASMR NSW Meeting.
2004    St George Hospital Clinical School “Young Investigator of the Year” 
1998    Fowlds Memorial Prize for most distinguished student in the Medicine and Health Science Faculty, University of Auckland, New Zealand
1997    Senior Prize in Pharmacology, University of Auckland, New Zealand
 


My Research Activities

Personalised anti-cancer therapies have the potential to transform cancer treatments. 

We now appreciate that at diagnosis, patients with T-cell leukaemia have more than 10 mutations. Some of these mutations will be sufficient to cause leukaemia, but the role of the majority of these mutations remains unknown. 

My research program is focussed on defining the functional role for mutations found in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. We utilise a “functional genomics” approach, that is creating in vitro and in vivo mouse models of T-cell leukaemia using clinically relevant mutations, to identify the key proteins and signalling pathways that should be targeted to control the disease. 

This knowledge on which proteins and mutations are essential to drive the growth and survival of leukaemia cells will significantly improve our ability to use targeted agents based on an individual’s mutation signature. 
 

 


My Research Supervision


Areas of supervision

Currently, I have several projects for enthusiastic, motivated and passionate Honours, ILP or Ph.D. students in 2021. Feel free to reach out should any of these appeal to you. 

 

(1)  Long read sequencing to characterize the alternatively spliced transcriptome downstream of mutant JAK3 signaling in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

In this project we will be using nanopore sequencing technology to look at the spliceosome in patients derived xenograft samples that harbour mutations in the IL7-JAK-STAT signaling pathway. Novel splice isoforms will then be modeled using our in vivo bone marrow transplant model system to determine their role in the maintenance and progression of the disease. 

 

(2) Epigenetic profiling and eradication of relapse-initiating cells in paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

This project will investigate the following Hypotheses: (1) epigenetic modifications in subpopulations of ALL cells in the bone marrow provide a survival advantage during exposure to chemotherapy in vivo resulting in relapse; (2) Reversing these epigenetic aberrations will eradicate drug-resistant ALL cells and prevent relapse.

 

(3) The role of the FAT1 cadherin in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. 

In this project, we will investigate targeting FAT1 cadherin positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with novel nanoparticles loaded with chemotherapeutics. The molecular role of FAT1 will also be investigated with respect to protecting cells from cell death, cellular homing in vivo and role in metabolism. 

 

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Location

Lowy Cancer Research Centre,
UNSW Australia
PO Box 81 Randwick 2031 Australia


Map reference (Google map)

Videos

Interview at the EHA congress, 2019 highlighting the major findings of Science Translational Medicine Paper (PMID: 31142678)