Julie Decock | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


Dr. Julie Decock

Dr. Julie Decock (PhD)

Translational Cancer and Immunity Center
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute

Joint Assistant Professor
College of Health and Life Sciences

  • Phone+974-4454-6894


Dr. Julie Decock received her Master of Science (MSc) in Biomedical Sciences from the Free University of Brussels (VUB, Belgium) and completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medical Sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven, KU Leuven, Belgium. Her doctoral research focused on the cancer degradome, the repertoire of proteases in the tumor microenvironment that contribute to shaping the extracellular environment and modulating pericellular signaling, thereby affecting tumor progression and clinical outcome.

She joined QBRI in 2013 and established a research program in the areas of tumor antigen discovery and tumor immunity, two key research areas that can help accelerate breast cancer research and advance the development of new treatments. Currently, her research focuses on cancer testis antigens, a group of tumor associated antigens that play pivotal roles in tumorigenesis and progression, and display high tumor specificity with minimal on- and off-target side effects. Her efforts have demonstrated that cancer testis antigens not only play important roles in multiple cancer hallmarks but can also serve as tumor specific molecular targets and modulators of anti-tumor immunity, offering diverse opportunities for anti-cancer targeting.

Dr. Decock is currently a scientist at the Translational Cancer and Immunity Center, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and a joint Assistant Professor position at HBKU’s College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS). 

Research Interests

  • Tumor-derived and circulating immune-related biomarkers in breast cancer
  • The role of cancer testis antigens within the tumor-immune ecosystem
  • Therapeutic potential of targeting cancer testis antigens for precision medicine in breast cancer
  • Genetic determinants of non-BRCA high-risk familial breast cancer


Scientist, Cancer Research Center

Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar.

2016 - present
  • Joint Assistant Professor

    College of Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Doha, Qatar.

    2016 - present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

    Cancer Research Center, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar.

    2013 - 2016
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

    School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK.

    2008 - 2013



Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium

  • MSc in Biomedical Sciences

    Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium


Selected Publications

  • Al-Nesf MAY, Abdesselem HB, Bensmail I, Ibrahim S, Saeed WAH, Mohammed SSI, Razok A, Alhussain H, Aly RMA, Al Maslamani M, Ouararhni K, Khatib MY, Hssain AA, Omrani AS, Al-Kaabi S, Al Khal A, Al-Thani AA, Samsam W, Farooq A, Al-Suwaidi J, Al-Maadheedh M

    Al-Siddiqi HH, Butler AE, Decock J, Mohamed-Ali V, Al-Ejeh F. Prognostic tools and candidate drugs based on plasma proteomics of patients with severe COVID-19 complications. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):946. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28639-4.

  • Naik A and Decock J*.

    Targeting of lactate dehydrogenase C dysregulates the cell cycle and sensitizes breast cancer cells to DNA damage response targeted therapy. Mol Oncol. 2022 Feb;16(4):885-903. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.13024.

  • Naik A, Thomas R, Al-Khadairi G, Bacha R, Hendrickx W, Decock J*.

    Cancer testis antigen PRAME: An anti-cancer target with immunomodulatory potential. J Cell Mol Med. 2021;25(22):10376-103888. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.16967.

  • Thomas R, Al Khadairi G, Decock J*.

    Immune checkpoint inhibitors in triple negative breast cancer treatment: promising future prospects. Front Oncol. 2021;10:600573. doi:10.3389/fonc.2020.600573.

  • Roelands J, Mall R, Almeer H, Thomas R, Mohamed MG, Bedri S, Bujassoum S, Junejo K, Ziv E, Sayaman RW, Kuppen PJK, Bedognetti D, Hendrickx W, Decock J*.

    Ancestry-associated transcriptomic profiles of breast cancer in patients of African, Arab and European ancestry. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Feb 8;7(1):10. doi: 10.1038/s41523-021-00215-x.

  • Toor SM, Sasidharan Nair V, Decock J, Elkord E.

    Immune checkpoints in the tumor microenvironment. Semin Cancer Biol. 2020;65:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.06.021.

  • Naik A and Decock J*

    Lactate Metabolism and Immune Modulation in Breast Cancer: A Focused Review on Triple Negative Breast Tumors. Front. Oncol., doi:10.3389/fonc.2020.598626.

  • Thomas R, Shaath H, Naik A, Toor SM, Elkord E, Decock J*

    Identification of two HLA-A*0201 immunogenic epitopes of lactate dehydrogenase C (LDHC): potential novel targets for cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2020 Jan 13. doi: 10.1007/s00262-020-02480-4.

  • Naik A, Monjazeb AM and Decock J*

    The obesity paradox in cancer, tumor immunology and immunotherapy: Focus on triple negative breast cancer. Front. Immunol. 10:1940. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01940. Review.

  • Al-Khadairi G, Decock J*

    Cancer Testis Antigens and Immunotherapy: Where Do We Stand in the Targeting of PRAME? Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jul 15; 11(7). Review.

  • Al-Khadairi G, Naik A, Thomas R, Al-Sulaiti B, Rizly S, Decock J*

    PRAME promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in triple negative breast cancer. J Transl Med. 17(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12967-018-1757-3.

  • Thomas R, Al-Khadairi G, Roelands J, Hendrickx W, Dermime S, Bedognetti D, Decock J*

    NY-ESO-1 based immunotherapy of cancer: current perspectives. Front. Immunol. 9:947. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00947. Review.

  • Complete list of publications https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/julie.decock.1/bibliography/public/