Ludwig Cancer Research is delighted to announce that Stephen Baylin, Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Oncology and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and a pioneer of cancer epigenetics, is joining the Oxford Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research as a Visiting Professor of Cancer Epigenetics. Baylin, who retains his Ludwig Professorship, will advise Ludwig Oxford on its basic and translational research in cancer epigenetics and help guide collaborations to advance that research program.
Baylin’s appointment bolsters Ludwig Oxford’s existing expertise in cancer epigenetics, which was recently enriched by its recruitment of epigenetics researcher Yang Shi. Additionally, technology developed in the laboratory of Ludwig Oxford’s Chunxiao Song was the basis for the launch of an epigenetic sequencing company in 2020. The spin-out, Base Genomics, was acquired by Exact Sciences within months of its launch to expand the company’s growing portfolio of technologies for cancer diagnostics.
Baylin, who is also co-Director of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, U.S.A., is among the founders of the field of cancer epigenetics. More than 30 years ago, he co-discovered cancer-specific changes in the distribution of DNA methylation—an epigenetic chemical modification of DNA—that aberrantly silences genes in cancer cells.
He has since remained at the forefront of the field, elucidating the genetics and molecular events that drive altered DNA methylation and other epigenetic changes in cancer. His laboratory has also been very active in translating its research for the benefit of patients, having led the development of biomarkers for cancer diagnostics and novel strategies for the treatment of cancer. Baylin is currently moving candidate epigenetic therapies into clinical trials for the treatment of multiple tumor types.
Baylin has received several awards for his transformational discoveries, including the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor and the NCI Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics. He is also a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of both the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.