Dr Nathalie Bock

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MPQC Deputy Director and Network Theme Leader, QUT

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)

Summary

Dr Nathalie Bock (she/her) is a Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator in the Faculty of Health, School of Biomedical Sciences at QUT. Dr Bock is the Leader of the Bone & Tumour Bioengineering research group and the Deputy Co-Director of the Max Planck Queensland Centre (MPQC) for the Materials Science of Extracellular Matrices. Dr Bock obtained her M.Sc. in Materials Science & Engineering in 2007 from the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (France) and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering & Medical Physics from QUT (Australia) in 2014. Her NHRMC Peter Doherty Early-Career Fellowship (QUT, 2015-2020) looked at developing tissue models to replicate the metastatic human bone microenvironment in prostate cancer. Dr Bock's current Advance Queensland Industry Research Mid-Career Fellowship (QUT, 2021-2024) is progressing her work on bone metastatic tissue models for individualised therapy guidance in breast cancer. Since 2022, Dr Bock leads a 5-year research program in MPQC looking at defining and understanding the relationship between architecture, cellular and extracellular composition, and transport properties of the osteocyte lacunocanalicular network via computational modelling and biomimetic bone tissue engineering.

Dr Bock’s research group is based at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Woolloongabba (Queensland, Australia) and applies bioengineering strategies to study the bone organ and tumours in this microenvironment with the ultimate goal of identifying new mechanisms that may ultimately help to understand, prevent and treat disease. The specific focus is to develop and use biomimetic 3D tailorable tissue model systems for in vitro and in vivo use, to understand the role of cellular and extracellular microenvironments in modulating normal and pathological states in bone, including cancer progression and therapy response. The research uses multiscale design principles of hierarchical ECM materials combined with biomaterials (multifunctional scaffolds, biopolymers, hydrogels), tissue engineering technologies (biofabrication, additive manufacturing, melt electrowriting), and multiscale correlative characterization techniques at the biological, mechanical and structural levels. The research aims to understand how biophysical and biochemical parameters from native tissues and bioengineered microenvironment models dynamically modulate the local mechanoresponsive interactions between cells and their ECMs, to understand key regulators of tissue-specific formation, architecture, composition and remodelling in healthy and diseased bone.

Background

Dr Bock obtained her M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2007 from the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (now known as University of Lorraine), in France, through a five-year European degree involving semester exchanges at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in the USA. Her final engineering internship was done at Apatech Ltd (now Baxter) in London, UK, in bone graft substitutes. in 2007, Dr Bock worked for two years as a Research Assistant at the National Research Council in Bologna, Italy, on a 7th Framework large-scale European project on bone regeneration (FP7-MAGISTER). Dr Bock undertook her postgraduate studies in Australia in 2010 at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), at QUT, and received her PhD in 2014, developing electrospraying technologies applied to bone repair, under the guidance of Professors Tim Dargaville and Mia Woodruff. Her work led to publications in Progress in Polymer Science, Polymers, Tissue Engineering-C, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, and Macromolecular Bioscience, which contributed to cementing the emerging field of polymer electrospraying for the controlled release of therapeutic molecules.

Dr Bock translated her tissue engineering knowledge into cancer research by doing her postdoctoral training at the Translational Research Institute (TRI), at QUT, under the guidance of Distinguished Professors Judith A. Clements and Dietmar W. Hutmacher, via a 4-year NHMRC ECR Fellowship, on microenvironment models in prostate cancer. Her fellowship led to papers in Bone Research, Biomaterials and Science Advances, developing 3D primary co-culture models and quantification methodologies, and discussing mechanisms of the adaptive response of androgen-deprived prostate cancer in bone and cancer cell osteomimicry mechanisms using patient-derived-xenografts. In 2021, Dr Bock started her Advance Queensland Industry Research Mid-Career Fellowship (AQIRF) in collaboration with industry partners to further develop the bioengineered tissue models using novel hydrogel formulations for high throughput bioprinting of the microenvironment of bone metastatic breast cancer. Dr Bock’s research has received national and international funding, from both industry (JJ Richards & Sons), government (ARC, NHMRC, Advance Queensland) and philanthropy (Lush UK, Cure Cancer, Cancer Australia, Princess Alexandra Research Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia).

Dr Bock is a proud mother of four boys and a dedicated science educator, advocate for access to STEM opportunities to all children, teenagers, and young adults, in particular those from disadvantaged and LGBTIQA+ communities.

Additional information

Media Releases

  • https://www.curecancer.com.au/our-researchers/dr-nathalie-bock?rq=bock
  • https://freshscience.org.au/state/qld/prostate-cancer-mini-tumours
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_uePR7rME4&feature=youtu.be
  • https://vimeo.com/242211437
  • https://www.thinkable.org/submission_entries/DqwzbX9o
  • https://banksiascientific.com.au/behind-science-dr-nathalie-bock-cancer-researcher/

Appointments

  • 2020 - 2023 Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development (DITID) - Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, Mid-Career

QUT, Translational Research Institute (TRI) and Institute of Heath and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Brisbane – Australia Topic: Bioengineered platforms for individualised therapy guidance in breast cancer

  • 2015 – 2020 National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) - Peter Doherty Early Career Research Fellow

QUT, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Center - Queensland (APCRC-Q), TRI, IHBI, Brisbane – Australia Topic: Using 3D bioengineered models to replicate and study the tumour microenvironment in prostate cancer bone metastasis

  • 2014 – 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow

QUT, APCRC-Q, TRI, Brisbane - Australia Topic: Establishment of 3D bioengineered prostate cancer tumour models http://www.australianprostatecentre.org/

  • 2007 – 2009      Research Associate

National Research Council (CNR),  Institute of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN), Bologna – Italy Topic: FP7 European project, Magnetic Scaffolds for In Vivo Tissue Engineering http://www.magister-project.eu/

  • 2006  Intern

Apatech Ltd., London - UK Topic: Line extensions of bone graft substitutes, ActifuseTM http://www.apatech.com/

Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2019
Details
Poster Award Winner, Nature Conference, Biomimetics in Bioengineering. Brisbane, Australia
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2020
Details
STEMM Diversity and Inclusion Award
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2017
Details
2017 Award winner Qld, postdoctoral category - Australian Society for Medical Research
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2017
Details
HOPE meeting with Nobel Laureates in Tokyo
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Young Investigator Award - Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Polymers Journal Best Paper Award (2nd prize)
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2014
Details
Mobility Fellowship - Technical University of Munich, Germany
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2014
Details
PhD Career Start Award Winner
Type
Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
2014
Details
NHMRC Peter Doherty Early Career Research Fellowship
Title
ARC ITTC M3D - Subproject T5.8 - 3-D Printed Biodegradable Implants
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
T5.8
Start year
2021
Keywords
Title
A Micro-Physiological System to Mimic Human Microbiome-Organ Interactions
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP200101658
Start year
2020
Keywords
Title
ARC ITTC M3D - Subproject with Stryker 5.2 - RAW tissue harvest system
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
IC180100008
Start year
2020
Keywords
Title
Bioengineered Humanised Models: A Novel Preclinical Platform for Bone Metastatic Cancer Research
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
00004700.0
Start year
2020
Keywords
Title
Using Bioengineered 3D In Vitro Models to Replicate the Tumour Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
78451482
Start year
2016
Keywords
3D In Vitro Models; Bone Metastasis; Prostate Cancer
Title
Using Bioengineered 3D Models to Replicate the Tumour Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
78347667
Start year
2015
Keywords
Tissue Engineering; Tumour Metastases; Microenvironment; Prostate Cancer; Cancer Cell Biology
  • The role of bone marrow fat in advanced prostate cancer using bioengineered humanized models
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
  • The use of click chemistry in the formation of gelatin-based, thiol-modified hydrogels for investigation of breast cancer cells
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
  • Identification of Key Molecular Drivers of Osteoblast Stimulation by Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cells
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
  • Development and Validation of Automated Opto-Mechatronic Screening Solutions for 3D Tumour Model Engineering
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
  • BONE LOSS: APPLICATION OF TRANSLATIONAL REGENERATIVE MEDICINE TOWARDS IMPROVED TREATMENT STRATEGIES
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
  • Immobilization of antimicrobial agents via physical and chemical modifications on synthetic polymers for breast tissue engineering applications
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
  • Manufacturing and Characterization of Multiphasic Scaffolds for Local Drug Delivery and Large-Volume Soft Tissue Reconstruction |
    PhD, Associate Supervisor