Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Ludwig Cancer Research congratulates Yang Shi, a Member of the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, on his election to the membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Professor Yang Shi is recognised by EMBO for his significant contributions to epigenetic research, which explores how chemical modifications made to chromatin influence the organisation and expression of the human genome. Errors in those processes can drive cancer and many other diseases and disorders. In 2004, Shi and his colleagues identified and characterised an enzyme, LSD1, that erases methyl marks from histones. Their discovery upended a 40-year-old dogma that considered such modifications irreversible, altering longstanding models of genomic regulation.

Shi’s lab went on to identify numerous other histone demethylases and described their roles in an array of biological processes. More recently, his group has discovered that LSD-1 inhibition can spark anti-tumour immune responses even against immunologically “cold” tumours. His group also identified several enzymes that methylate RNA, which represent new opportunities to investigate RNA modifications in gene expression regulation and cancer.

EMBO has in its membership 1,900 eminent scientists elected by their peers to promote excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. Altogether, 90 Nobel laureates have been members of the organisation since it was established in 1964. Shi is one of 58 new members elected to the organisation this year, along with nine associate members working in seven countries outside Europe.

Shi joined the Oxford Branch in 2020 from Harvard University. In addition to his Ludwig post, he is a Professor in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford. Shi has received many honours for his contributions to epigenetics and is a fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an American Cancer Society Research Professor.

Similar stories

Two new therapeutic targets in tuft cell-like small cell lung cancer

Yang Shi’s group identify two transcriptional co-activators that are selectively important for cancer cell but not normal cell survival.

Ludwig Oxford's Yang Shi elected to National Academy of Medicine

Ludwig Cancer Research congratulates Yang Shi on one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine