Associate Professor Antoine de Weck joined Children's Cancer Institute in January 2022 to establish and lead our new Computational Drug Discovery Biology Group.
Antoine’s work at the Institute focuses on identifying new therapeutic vulnerabilities in childhood cancers, and identifying new or existing compounds capable of targeting those vulnerabilities. His Group is a key capability of THINK (THerapeutic INnovations for Kids), an initiative dedicated to generating new therapies specifically for children with cancer and moving these from the lab to the clinic as quickly as possible.
Before joining our Institute, Antoine worked at Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research in Switzerland as a computational biologist in oncology. Here, he led the computational team that developed a unique dataset based on the interrogation of 6000 genes in 400 cell lines, which became a major source of new therapeutic targets in oncology for Novartis.
‘At Children’s Cancer Institute, I’m able to continue the drug discovery work I’ve done with adult cancer, but apply it to childhood cancer,’ he explains. ‘The Institute is well placed to develop new paediatric oncology therapeutics, with access to all the patient-derived data generated by the Zero Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO), as well as a growing body of preclinical data and functional genomics capabilities.’
Antoine works closely with our Drug Discovery Centre, Computational Biology Group and Translational Tumour Biology Group, as well as the broader ZERO team, mining data generated by ZERO to identify clinically relevant biological drug targets and then validate oncogenic function in pre-clinical tumour models.
‘I want to contribute to the development of drugs that provide new treatment options for children with cancer. We’re at the stage where there are lots of new discoveries being made; we’re at the forefront of life sciences, and every step is bringing us closer to this larger picture and to our overall goal.’
Cancer Institute NSW Career Development Fellowship 2022