Professor Tony Kouzarides

University of Cambridge
Wellcome Trust CRUK Gurdon Institute

Position: Professor
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Professor Tony Kouzarides is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Tony Kouzarides is Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge, Deputy Director of the Gurdon Institute and Director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute.

Tony did his PhD at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral work at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology on the cancer inducing potential of human cytomegalovirus. He then went to NYU Medical Center in New York where he worked on the c-Fos onco-protein and the characterization of the leucine zipper. He returned to Cambridge to lead a research group at the Gurdon Institute.

Tony's research group at the Gurdon Institute is focused on epigenetic modifications on Chromatin, RNA and DNA and their involvement in cancer. His laboratory identified one of the first enzymes that modify chromatin, the acetyltransferase CBP. The Kouzarides lab has also discovered many other chromatin modification pathways including deimination, proline isomerisation and tyrosine phoshorylation and glutamine methylation. His group identified HP1 as a protein that binds to methyl-lysine 9 on Histone H3. Many links between epigenetic modifications and cancer have been demonstrated by his group. Most recently a small molecule inhibitor I-BET has been shown to be effective against epigenetic pathways leading to MLL-leukaemia. This I-BET compound is currently in clinical trials.

Tony is part of the Executive Board of the Cambridge Cancer Centre and on the Scientific Advisory Board of two Institutes on Spain (CRG in Barcelona and CABIMER in Seville). He is the founder and director of a cancer charity based in Spain called "Vencer el Cancer" (Conquer Cancer), which raises public funds from the Spanish public to fund research on cancer. 

Tony is a co- founder of Abcam plc, (a publicly trading research reagents company) a co-founder of two UK based cancer drug discovery companies, Chroma Therapeutics (based in Oxford) and ICENI Therapeutics (based in Cambridge).

Research Programme
Chromatin modification
small molecule inhibitors
Recent publications:
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Key publications

Dawson MA, Prinjha RK, Dittman A, Giotopoulos G, Bantscheff M, Chan WI, Robson SC, Chung CW, Hopf C, Savitski MM, Huthmacher C, Gudgin E, Lugo D, Beinke S, Chapman TD, Roberts EJ, Soden PE, Auger KR, Mirguet O, Doehner K, Delwel R, Burnett AK, Jeffrey P, Drewes G, Lee K, Huntly BJ, Kouzarides T. (2011)
Inhibition of BET recruitment to chromatin as an effective treatment for MLL-fusion leukaemia.
Nature. 478(7370), 529-533.

Artist's impression of the Capella Building where the Milner Institute will be housed in 2018