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Professor Richard Lock

BSc (Hons) UC Swansea, PhD London; Head of Program, Leukaemia Biology

Professor Richard Lock is Head of the Preclinical Drug Testing Core Team for Zero Childhood Cancer. He manages both the in vitro drug testing of hundreds of potential drugs on each child’s cancer cells, and, where possible, in vivo drug testing in a biological model – a mouse avatar. Both tests are designed to identify drugs most likely to be effective against each child’s cancer.

Professor Lock joined Children’s Cancer Institute in 1998, as head of the Leukaemia Biology Program. Prior to this he was Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He brought with him an international reputation in the cancer-related fields of cell cycle control, drug resistance and mechanisms of programmed cell death (apoptosis).

At Children’s Cancer Institute Professor Lock developed a clinically-relevant laboratory model for the in vivo growth of human acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) cells—the first such model in Australia. This model now plays a central role in the preclinical evaluation of anticancer agents and the identification of new targets for targeted therapies as part of the US National Cancer Institute's Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium. It is also a vital part of the Zero Childhood Cancer program.

Professor Lock has authored more than 155 peer-reviewed papers, including several in prestigious journals such as Blood, Cancer Research, Cell Stem Cell, Clinical Cancer Research, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Oncogene.

Professor Lock is the inaugural Deputy Director of the UNSW Centre for Childhood Cancer Research. He is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow, and has been awarded research grants by the National Cancer Institute (USA), Cancer Council NSW, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).