Shi group | Chromatin, RNA modifications and cancer
Our Lab is interested in chromatin and RNA modifications that control gene expression, and how these impact biological processes and human health, especially cancer.
Our over-arching goals are to identify:
- Effective means to induce cancer cell differentiation as a potential cancer therapeutic strategy;
- Chromatin and RNA mechanisms that regulate responses of tumours to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy.
Our research into the relationship between chromatin and cancer focuses on:
- Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML);
- Paediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) and paediatric high-grade glioma (pHGG);
- Chromatin regulation in cancer and immune cells in the context of ICB therapy.
We believe the synergy of identifying the key epigenetic regulators in these cancers, characterising their modes of action, and exploring their amenability to therapeutic targeting will yield novel and fruitful insights to advance the broader enterprise of precision cancer medicine.
We are also interested in discovering new RNA modifying enzymes. Successful recent examples include enzymes that mediate m6Am methylation of mRNA and non-coding RNAs, respectively, as well as enzymes that mediate rRNA methylation. We are investigating their biochemistry, enzymology, biological functions and roles in cancer as well as developing small molecule inhibitors.