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Ludwig Oxford Professor Yang Shi has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for his contributions to epigenetics research.

The Royal Society, the UK’s distinguished academy of science, has announced the election of 62 new Fellows and Foreign Members, which include Professor Yang Shi FRS.

Yang has long since held a strong interest in identifying key epigenetic regulators in cancer, determining their mechanism of action and providing the conceptual basis for translating basic findings to the clinic by the development of new therapeutic strategies. Yang’s team made the discovery of the first histone methyl eraser (LSD1) in 2004, and have since demonstrated that histone methylation is dynamically regulated, overturning the long-held dogma that such modifications were static and irreversible. Yang’s research also looks into the study of RNA modifications and how they impact gene expression regulation. Since joining Ludwig Oxford, the lab has focused on two cancers in particular - acute myeloid leukaemia and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – where chromatin and epigenetics have been shown to play a crucial role in the maintenance of a poorly differentiated state.

Yang is also an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and a Fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).


I am delighted to receive this honour from the Royal Society. I am grateful for the help and support I have received from my mentors and colleagues throughout my career. My appreciation also goes to the Harvard Medical School where I began my independent research career, to the Boston Children’s Hospital where I spent the last 10 years or so before moving to UK, and to the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of Oxford where I am continuing my research journey with a stronger focus on cancer. As always, the biggest thanks must go to my wonderful students, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants/lab managers, past and present. This honour is for them.

- Professor Yang Shi


Read more on the Ludwig Oxford website.