Dr. Julie Decock

Julie Decock


 Tel: + 974 4454 6894
Dr Julie Decock holds a Master in Biomedical Sciences from the Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences in 2003 from the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium. Her PhD dissertation focused on the clinical utility of tumor and circulating proteases as novel biomarkers for breast cancer. During her PhD, she co-founded the breast cancer biobank at the University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium. Dr Decock undertook a postdoctoral position at the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK where she studied the role of several protease families in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer using in vitro and in vivo models. She joined QBRI in 2013 as a postdoctoral researcher and was promoted to scientist in 2016. In addition, she holds an assistant professor position at the College of Science and Engineering of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Dr Decock has 25 peer-reviewed scientific articles with over 760 citations and has an h-index of 15. She is a member of the editorial board of Frontiers in Oncology and the Journal of Translational Medicine. She serves on various grant review boards, nationally and internationally.
Dr Decock’s research interest lies in the tumor microenvironment and how its constituents together with tumor antigens can be exploited as prognostic biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets for immunotherapy. She also has an interest in the molecular mechanisms by which tumor-associated Cancer Testis Antigens drive/support tumorigenesis and/or neoplastic progression. Her research group is focused on breast cancer, in particular triple negative breast cancer.
Current research projects in Dr Decock’s group include:
  • Cancer Testis Antigens as candidate targets for cancer immunotherapy of triple negative breast cancer and the role of hypoxia in T cell based immunotherapy.
  • The cancer testis antigen PRAME: acquisition of hallmarks of cancer and treatment resistance in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
  • Pilot study of the role of Lactate Dehydrogenase C (LDHC) in the growth and migratory potential of triple negative breast cancer cells.
Thomas R, Al-Khadairi G, Roelands J, Hendrickx W, Dermime S, Bedognetti D, Decock J*. NY-ESO-1 based immunotherapy of cancer: current perspectives. Front Immunol 2018 (In Press). doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00947. Review.

Roelands J, Decock J, Boughorbel S, Rinchai D, Maccalli C, Ceccarelli M, Black M, Print C, Chou J, Presnell S, Quinn C, Jithesh P, Syed N, Al Bader SBJ, Bedri S, Wang E, Marincola FM, Chaussabel D, Kuppen P, Miller LD, Bedognetti D, Hendrickx W. A collection of annotated and harmonized human breast cancer transcriptome datasets, including immunologic classification. F1000Res. 2017 Mar 20;6:296. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10960.2.

Decock J*, Hendrickx W, Thirkettle S, Gutiérrez-Fernández A, Robinson SD, Edwards DR. (2015). Pleiotropic functions of the tumor- and metastasis-suppressing matrix metalloproteinase-8 in mammary cancer in MMTV-PyMT transgenic mice. Breast Cancer Res 17:38.

Thirkettle S, Decock J, Arnold H, Pennington CJ, Jaworski DM, Edwards DR. (2013). Matrix metalloproteinase 8 (collagenase 2) induces the expression of interleukins 6 and 8 in breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem 288(23):16282-94.
* corresponding author
For a complete list of publications, go to PubMed
Collaborator Name Institute Research Area
Dr Eyad Elkord QBRI Cancer immunology
Dr Mariam
Al Muftah
QBRI Triple negative breast cancer
Dr Said Dermime HMC-iTRI, Qatar Cancer Testis Antigens
Dr Davide Bedognetti
Dr Wouter Hendrickx
Sidra Medical and Research Center (SMRC) Cancer immune gene signatures
Dr Anwarul Hasan QU, Qatar Prognostic microchip technology
Institution Course Name Role
HBKU, Qatar Molecular Mechanisms of cancer and precision medicine (GPM651) Coordinator
HBKU, Qatar Cancer Immunology and immunotherapy (LS612) Lecturer
HBKU, Qatar Advanced Genetics (LS504) Lecturer
HBKU, Qatar Advanced Molecular Biology (LS503) Lecturer
HBKU, Qatar Research Methods and Ethics (LS501) Lecturer
HBKU, Qatar Techniques in Biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology (LS600) Instructor
QU, Qatar Pathology Lecturer
UEA, UK Cancer Biology Lecturer

Institution Committee Period
QBRI Recruitment 2016-present
QBRI Procurement 2014-2016
UEA,UK Athena Swan Taskforce 2012-2013
UEA,UK Faculty board of Science 2010-2013
UEA,UK Department board of Biology 2010-2013
UEA,UK Health and Safety 2009-2013
Program Institution # Students Role
PhD program HBKU, Qatar
MSc program HBKU, Qatar 1 Supervisor
BSc program QU, Qatar
CMU, Qatar
Summer research program QBRI, Qatar 3 Supervisor
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