Dr Charley de Bock

Team Leader

BSc, MSc, PhD

Research goals
To develop specialised experimental models of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL)
To test potential therapies for T-ALL in these models
To improve our understanding of how T-ALL develops

Dr Charley de Bock joined the Institute in January 2019 to establish a new team to work on one of the most difficult to treat blood cancers in children: T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). A molecular and cellular biologist with over 10 years’ experience performing research on blood cancers, Charley has a unique skill set combined with a passion to see his research make a difference in people’s lives.

‘Children with T-ALL are high-risk and so receive a very intensive chemotherapy regimen,’ he explains. ‘Many of these children suffer long-term effects of this aggressive treatment, and can also develop a treatment-induced secondary cancer. There is therefore a great need for targeted therapies to be developed that can minimise these effects.’

Before joining the Institute, Charley worked at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology in Belgium, where his research focused on understanding the molecular biology of leukaemia. Here, he developed expertise in a number of cutting-edge technologies including next-generation sequencing, genome editing and advanced proteomics.

In his new role, Charley is focused on developing highly specialised in vivo (mouse) models of T-ALL that will be used to improve our understanding of how T-ALL develops, as well as to study the efficacy of newly developed therapies. In this work he is collaborating closely with Professor Richard Lock in the Leukaemia Biology Program.

To date, Charley’s research has resulted in 39 peer-reviewed publications, including many in high-impact journals such as Cancer Cell and Leukemia. He has also given many international presentations, including as an invited plenary speaker.