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Ludwig Oxford welcomes this leading international figure in the field of cancer epigenetics

Stephen B. Baylin, M.D. is Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Oncology and Medicine, and Co-Director of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He is joining the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Nuffield Department of Medicine as a Visiting Professor of Cancer Epigenetics.

Professor Baylin, who retains his Ludwig Professorship at Johns Hopkins, will advise Ludwig Oxford on its basic and translational research in cancer epigenetics and help guide collaborations to advance that research programme. This will further bolster the Branch’s expertise in this field after the recent recruitment of Professor Yang Shi and the success of the Ludwig Oxford epigenetic sequencing technology spin-out Base Genomics.

Professor Baylin is widely regarded as one of the ‘fathers’ of cancer epigenetics. More than 30 years ago, he co-discovered cancer-specific changes in DNA methylation – an epigenetic chemical modification of DNA – that aberrantly silenced genes in cancer cells. This work laid the foundations for the field of cancer epigenetics, and he has been a leading figure in basic and translational studies of epigenetic abnormalities in cancer ever since. 

His team has pursued the molecular events underlying this altered DNA methylation and other epigenetic changes in cancer, including the discovery of the genes involved. He is very active in translating this research for the benefit of patients, having developed biomarkers and, most recently, therapeutic strategies. He is currently moving epigenetic therapies to clinical trials for multiple tumour types.

In recognition of his transformational discoveries, Professor Baylin has been awarded several high-profile honours, including the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor, Membership of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellowship of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the NCI Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics.

Ludwig Oxford are delighted to welcome this acclaimed scientist to the Branch and the Oxford community.