Alexander Koch

Alexander Koch

In 2004 I enrolled at Ghent University to study bioscience engineering. Five fun years and a semester at BOKU in Vienna later I tossed my academic cap in the air, having graduated with a master thesis on the genetic modification of bamboo. I spent the next year rowing for the Belgian national team and took a few extra classes at university, including two courses on bioinformatics which sparked my interest in the field. In 2010 I joined the lab of bioinformatics and computational genomics, better known as BIOBIX, and started my PhD under the supervision of Wim Van Crieckinge, Tim De Meyer and Gerben Menschaert.

My past projects include work on the development of a new lung cancer therapy at the Baylin lab at Johns Hopkins University and the development of PROTEOFORMER, a tool that improves the number of proteins that can be identified with a mass spectrometer through the creation of a search space using ribo-seq data.

I’m working on several projects at the moment. My main project is the analysis of the efficacy of immunotherapy in metastatic melanoma in collaboration with Bart Neyns‘ group at the university hospital in Brussels (UZB). Using RNA and MBD-sequencing we are trying to figure out what the differences are between patients that respond to immunotherapy and those that don’t.

Another project focuses on the combination of DNA methylation and expression data. We have methylation data from an MBD-sequencing experiment and protein level expression data from a shotgun proteomics experiment. A poster with the results has been presented at the 2013 ASMS conference in Minneapolis and a paper will be resubmitted for review shortly.

Finally, I’m also working on the development of MEXPRESS, a visualization tool for the expression, DNA methylation and clinical data in The Cancer Genome Atlas. MEXPRESS has been published in BMC Genomics: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/16/636.

Publications: https://biblio.ugent.be/person/002004459328

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