Theme Member
Dr Chung Hoow Kok


Phone: 08 812 84312 




BSc (Biomedical Science, Hons), PhD (Medicine, Cancer Biology, bioinformatics), The University of Adelaide

Research Focus

I am a Mary Overton Research Fellow and postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Professor Timothy Hughes and Professor Deborah White at Cancer Theme, SAHMRI. Additionally, I am holding an honorary title of affiliate senior lecturer from the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. I have the expertise in both molecular cancer biology and bioinformatics, these skills have allowed me to establish and collaborate on many research projects involving biology and bioinformatics with clinical researchers, biologists and computer scientists both nationally and internationally. With these skillsets, I am currently leading a biomarker project to predict poor long-term clinical outcome of chronic myeloid leukaemia patient at the time of diagnosis based on gene signatures. Moreover, I currently contribute my intellectual input and/or supervision to junior staff members, and research students enrolled through the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, regarding methods on molecular biology, as well as analysing next-generation sequencing data using high-performance computing, Unix/bash script, python and R programming languages. As part of my role, I am developing and testing pipelines and new algorithms for analysing next-generation sequencing. To do this, I use R programming for genomic data science works such as data import, data cleaning, statistical analysis, machine learning analysis and data visualisation. Thus, I have extensive experiences with R in analysing high-throughput microarray and genomic sequencing data sets of varying sizes and complexity. I also have some experiences in Unix/bash, C++, and Python programming. Furthermore, by utilising these skills, I have constructed and developed a 9-genes signature algorithm to predict Philadelphia-chromosome-like acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph-like ALL) – a subgroup of ALL that has a poor clinical outcome. Some of these works have been presented orally at prestigious international conferences. In support of having my expertise recognised, my inputs to these projects have led to co-authorships of more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers and over 75 conference abstracts. I am also an active member of the internationally prestigious American Society of Hematology (ASH) and European Hematology Association (EHA).  My key area interests are biomarkers, big data, bioinformatics, genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, next-generation sequencing, microarray, machine learning, statistical analysis, programming, personalised medicine, translational medicine, and innovative medicine.


Sadras T, Kok CH, Perugini M, Ramshaw HS, D'Andrea RJ. miR-155 as a potential target of IL-3 signaling in primary AML cells. Leuk Res. 2017

Wang J, Lu L, Kok CH, Saunders VA, Goyne JM, Dang P, Leclercq TM, Hughes TP, White DL. Increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma activity reduces imatinib uptake and efficacy in chronic myeloid leukemia mononuclear cells. Haematologica. 2017

Nievergall E, Reynolds J, Kok CH, Watkins D, Biondo M, Busfield S, et al. TGF- α and IL-6 plasma levels selectively identify CML patients that fail to achieve an early molecular response or progress in the first year of therapy. Leukemia. 2016.

Noll JE, Vandyke K, Hewett DR, Mrozik KM, Bala RJ, Williams SA, Kok CH, Zannettino AC. PTTG1 expression is associated with hyperproliferative disease and poor prognosis in multiple myeloma. J Hematol Oncol. 2015 Oct 6;8(1):106. doi: 10.1186/s13045-015-0209-2.

Noll JE, Hewett DR, Williams SA, Vandyke K, Kok C, To LB, Zannettino AC. SAMSN1 is a tumor suppressor gene in multiple myeloma.Neoplasia 2014 Jul;16(7):572-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2014.07.002.

Sadras T, Perugini M, Kok CH, Iarossi DG, Heatley SL, Brumatti G, et al. Interleukin-3-mediated regulation of beta-catenin in myeloid transformation and acute myeloid leukemia. Journal of leukocyte biology 2014 Jul;96(1):83-91. doi: 10.1189/jlb.2AB1013-559R. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

Kok CH, Leclercq T, Watkins DB, Saunders V, Wang J, Hughes TP, et al. Elevated PTPN2 expression is associated with inferior molecular response in de-novo chronic myeloid leukaemia patients. Leukemia 2014, 28(3): 702-705

Brumatti G, Salmanidis M, Kok CH, Bilardi RA, Sandow JJ, Silke N, et al. HoxA9 regulated Bcl-2 expression mediates survival of myeloid progenitors and the severity of HoxA9-dependent leukemia. Oncotarget. 2013 Nov;4(11):1933-47.

Perugini M, Iarossi DG, Kok CH, Cummings N, Diakiw SM, Brown AL, et al. GADD45A methylation predicts poor overall survival in acute myeloid leukemia and is associated with IDH1/2 and DNMT3A mutations. Leukemia 2013 Jul; 27(7): 1588-1592.

Kok CH, Watkins DB, Leclercq T, D'Andrea RJ, Hughes TP, White DL. Low GFI1 expression in white blood cells of CP-CML patients at diagnosis is strongly associated with subsequent blastic transformation. Leukemia 2013 Jun; 27(6): 1427-1430

Kok CH, Brown AL, Perugini M, Iarossi DG, Lewis ID, D'Andrea RJ. The preferential occurrence of FLT3-TKD mutations in inv(16) AML and impact on survival outcome: a combined analysis of 1053 core-binding factor AML patients. British journal of haematology 2013 Feb; 160(4): 557-559.

Diakiw SM, Perugini M, Kok CH, Engler GA, Cummings N, To LB, et al. Methylation of KLF5 contributes to reduced expression in acute myeloid leukaemia and is associated with poor overall survival. British journal of haematology 2013 Jun; 161(6): 884-888.

Wang J, Hughes TP, Kok CH, Saunders VA, Frede A, Groot-Obbink K, et al. Contrasting effects of diclofenac and ibuprofen on active imatinib uptake into leukaemic cells. British journal of cancer 2012 May 22; 106(11): 1772-1778.

Jabbour AM, Gordon L, Daunt CP, Green BD, Kok CH, D'Andrea R, et al. p53-Dependent transcriptional responses to interleukin-3 signaling. PloS one 2012; 7 (2) e31428.

Gagliardi L, Ling KH, Kok CH, Carolan J, Brautigan P, Kenyon R, et al. Genome-wide gene expression profiling identifies overlap with malignant adrenocortical tumours and novel mechanisms of inefficient steroidogenesis in familial ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia. Endocrine-related cancer 2012 Jun; 19(3): L19-23.

Diakiw SM, Kok CH, To LB, Lewis ID, Brown AL, D'Andrea RJ. The granulocyte-associated transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 5 is silenced by hypermethylation in acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemia research 2012 Jan; 36(1): 110-116.

Brown AL, Salerno DG, Sadras T, Engler GA, Kok CH, Wilkinson CR, et al. The GM-CSF receptor utilizes beta-catenin and Tcf4 to specify macrophage lineage differentiation. Differentiation 2012 Jan; 83(1): 47-59.

Bard-Chapeau EA, Jeyakani J, Kok CH, Muller J, Chua BQ, Gunaratne J, et al. Ecotopic viral integration site 1 (EVI1) regulates multiple cellular processes important for cancer and is a synergistic partner for FOS protein in invasive tumors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012 Feb 7; 109(6): 2168-2173.

Hahn CN, Chong CE, Carmichael CL, Wilkins EJ, Brautigan PJ, Li XC, Babic, M, Lin M, Carmagnac A, Lee YK, Kok CH, et al. Heritable GATA2 mutations associated with familial myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. Nature genetics 2011 Oct; 43(10): 1012-1017.


21st European Hematology Association Congress Travel grant (2016)

Mary Overton early career research fellowship (2014-2016)

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The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.