Dr Kelechi Okeke

Dr Kelechi Okeke

I have a background in Biomedical Sciences (BSc and MSc). I practised for several years as a Biomedical Scientist and briefly worked as an academic, where I taught Haematology to undergraduate students and supervised some final Biomedical Science student projects. I won a scholarship award for further postgraduate studies, after which I obtained a PhD in Cancer Biology. After my studies, I practised for a few years in the NHS, working in the haematology and blood transfusion department before supporting students' learning at London South Bank University. I recently joined the University of Westminster as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science with specialist in Haematology,


My research centres on the short- and long-term complications of the bone marrow following chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy as well as stem cell transplantation, with a particular focus on donor cell leukaemia (secondary leukaemia). Previous works using a bone marrow co-culture model demonstrated chemotherapy-induced bystander effects as possible mechanism for such complications as evidenced through results obtained from various genotoxicity assessments. Even more interesting is chemotherapy-resistant leukaemia stem cells (LSCs) which re-models the bone marrow complex cellular cross talks to promote and allow leukaemia survival. The later highlights the relevance the bone marrow microenvironment to leukaemia stem cells survival, treatment resistance, and possible leukaemia recurrence.

Future project would seek to explore and better understand the bone microenvironment which would be critical to the development of a better targeted therapy and improve patient outcome. Achieving this would require team efforts from internal and external collaborators.

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Haematological malignancies, Chemotherapy and stem cell transplant complications, Molecular and cellular cancer mechanisms, Secondary leukaemia, Bone marrow microenvironment.

Skills / expertise

Genotoxicity, Chemotherapy, Cancer cytogenetics, Assay development and verification.

Supervision interests

I am open to supervising self-funded PhD students or students who have secured scholarships and interested in my research area.