ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with seven to twelve years of experience after PhD, and a scientific track record showing great promise and achievement. Christoph Bock and his research team receive funding worth EUR 2 million for a period of five years to pursue a highly ambitious biomedical research project.
In his project, Christoph will focus on the epigenetic regulation in CAR T cell therapy – an important but underappreciated aspect of cell-based therapies. “We will investigate the regulatory dynamics during CAR T cell therapy in unprecedented molecular detail, by following patients diagnosed with blood cancers. Moreover, we will use CRISPR technology to advance CAR T cell therapy for solid tumors. Our project aims to uncover key roles of epigenetic regulation in CAR T cells and eventually establish new therapies for hard-to-treat cancers” says Christoph Bock.
This is not the first ERC grant to be awarded to Christoph Bock. In 2016, Christoph Bock successfully applied for an ERC Starting Grant. This work led to groundbreaking molecular technologies that the new grant will apply with the goal of advancing cell-based cancer therapy.
Christoph Bock joined CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, as Principal Investigator in 2012. He pursues interdisciplinary research aimed at understanding the epigenetic basis of cancer and advancing precision medicine with genomics technology. His research group combines experimental biology (high-throughput sequencing, epigenetics, CRISPR screening, synthetic biology) with computer science (bioinformatics, machine learning, artificial intelligence). He is guest professor at the Medical University of Vienna, scientific coordinator of the Biomedical Sequencing Facility at CeMM, and group leader at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases. He coordinates an EU Horizon 2020 project on the single-cell analysis of human organoids as a contribution to the Human Cell Atlas and co-leads a project on the mutational dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Austria. Christoph Bock is an elected member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and has received major research awards, including the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal (2009), and the Overton Prize of the International Society of Computational Biology (2017).