Charles de Bourcy

Luxemburg | Fulbright S&T Alumnus 2012Stanford University | Physics


Charles is passionate about using high-throughput DNA sequencing in conjunction with data mining to eliminate life-threatening diseases. His PhD research focuses on precision measurement of the human adaptive immune system in various conditions: when it is deficient (in old age), when it is overactive (in autoimmune disease) or when it becomes exhausted (in cancer). By capturing molecular snapshots of the repertoires of protective antibodies circulating in the blood, Charles studies how aging affects vaccine responses, what goes wrong in the autoimmune disease systemic sclerosis and how affected patients respond to treatment. By sequencing thousands of individual immune cells, he studies the cellular exhaustion phenomenon that can stand in the way of novel cancer immunotherapies.

In pursuing his goal to advance precision medicine, Charles leverages his strong quantitative training as a physicist and electrical engineer, and in order to equip himself with the skills necessary to transfer novel medical technology to industry, he completed the Ignite program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Before that, Charles obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, specializing in theoretical physics and condensed-matter physics. He was one of the Young Scientists invited to attend the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting as a representative of his native Luxembourg. His previous research experience included studies of electronic and energy materials (superconductors, topological insulators, multiferroics) during rotations at Stanford, Caltech and Oxford.

Besides science, Charles loves playing the piano: he has performed at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Ehrbar Hall in Vienna and the Thalia Hall in Transylvania among other venues, won the Polk Graduate Music Award in Performance at Stanford, and is a laureate of the 13th Los Angeles International Liszt Competition.



PhD (current, Applied Physics) Stanford University, USA
MS (2015, Electrical Engineering) Stanford University, USA
MPhys (2012, Physics) University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Awards beyond Fulbright S&T

  • 2012 Melvin and Joan Lane Stanford Graduate Fellowship