Professor Yang Shi honored by the Royal Society

Ludwig Oxford’s Yang Shi has been elected to The Royal Society, one of 62 new Fellows and Foreign Members inducted to the distinguished academy of science in the U.K. this year.

Shi’s research explores epigenetic regulators in cancer, determining their mechanism of action and providing the conceptual basis for translating basic scientific discoveries into therapeutic strategies. He co-discovered the first histone methyl eraser (LSD1) in 2004 and, with his colleagues, demonstrated that histone methylation is dynamically regulated, overturning the long-held dogma that such modifications were static and irreversible. His laboratory today also studies RNA modifications and their role in the regulation of gene expression. Since joining Ludwig Oxford, his lab has focused on two cancers in particular—acute myeloid leukaemia and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma—in which chromatin and epigenetics play a crucial role.

Find out more about Shi’s life, career and research here and here.

Shi 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,” said Shi. “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, research assistants and lab managers, past and present. This honor is for them.”

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship dating back to the 1660s that is dedicated to promoting excellence in science for the benefit of humanity. The Fellowship comprises the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists in the U.K. and the Commonwealth. Former members include Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin and Stephen Hawking. This year, 70 Fellows, 22 Foreign Members and 2 Honorary Fellows were elected to the Society. There are approximately 1,800 Fellows and Foreign Members in total, including around 70 Nobel Laureates. Ludwig Oxford Director Xin Lu and Sir Peter Ratcliffe, a co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, are Fellows of the Society, and Ludwig Lausanne’s Douglas Hanahan is a Foreign Member.


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