bio sketch column
Charles joined Kronos in 2019 and is the Vice President of Biology. Before joining Kronos, Charles was a Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research, a CPRIT Scholar for Cancer Research, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, and the Co-Director of the Therapeutic Innovation Center at Baylor College of Medicine. His prior research studied cancer through the lens of transcription factors - specialized proteins that bind to many thousands of regions in the human genome and turn genes on and off. Transcription factors are often deregulated in cancer, but few therapies are able to target their activity. In his research, Charles discovered that MYC, a transcription factor and the most commonly amplified human oncogene, functions as a global driver of gene expression. He also led the characterization of super enhancers, non-coding regulatory regions of the genome that are often altered to drive aberrant oncogene activation. These works have provided key insights into how transcription factors drive multiple cancer types and how to target this oncogenic activity. Working closely with chemical biologists, Charles has helped drive next generation inhibitors of transcription towards the clinic resulting in new therapeutic strategies for transcriptionally driven tumors including neuroblastoma and chordoma. Charles received his Ph.D. in Computational and Systems Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he trained with Dr. Richard Young and Dr. Christopher Burge. He completed his fellowship training with Dr. James Bradner at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the chemical biology program.