Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics
School of Medicine
Cancer Cell Biology
Area of Interest
With an emphasis on chromatin biology and gene regulation, our research programs are broadly focused on mechanistic understandings of how chemical modifications of chromatin define distinctive patterns of mammalian genomes, control gene expression and regulate cell fates during development, and how their deregulations lead to human disease such as cancer. Routinely, we have taken a set of integrated biochemical, genomics, oncology and medicinal chemistry approaches to tackle the broad and critical questions in this field. Our interest can roughly be summarized into the following research directions:
- The role for histone methylation “reader” proteins in gene regulation and cancer.
- The role for DNA methylation machineries in epigenetic regulation and cancer.
- Chemical inhibition of epigenetic regulators, leading to new therapeutics.
Awards and Honors
- 2019 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Scholarly and Artistic Achievement, UNC
- 2018 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar, LLS
- 2017 Gilead Sciences Research Scholar, Gilead Inc. Scholars Program
- 2016 American Cancer Society (ACS) Scholar, ACS
- 2014-2015 Kimmel Scholar Award, Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research
- 2014-2016 Janet D. Rowley Medical Research Award, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research
- 2013-2014 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Scholar Award in Basic Science
- 2013 Jefferson Pilot Fellowships in Academic Medicine Award, UNC Medical School
- 2011-2012 Martin D. Abeloff, MD V Scholar (top rating), the V Foundation for Cancer Research
- 2010-2015 Howard Temin ‘Pathway to Independence’ Award in Cancer Research (K99/R00), NIH/NCI
- 2008 Irvington Institute – Cancer Research Institute postdoctoral fellowship (declined)
- 2008-2010 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Fellow Award (named as the John C. Newman Researcher of LLS)
- 2007 C. H. Li Memorial Scholar Fund Scholar Award, the Rockefeller University
- 2000 Union Medical Award, Fudan University Medical Center, China
- 1994-1996 Undergraduate merit-based scholarship (People’s Fellowship), Fudan University, China