Tony Kouzarides is a molecular biologist and cancer researcher. He performs world-leading research on the modification and role of chromatin — the DNA–RNA–protein complex that chromosomes are made of. Tony was first to discover the enzymes that modify chromatin and by doing so, switch genes on and off. He also identified enzymes that modify RNA and continues to investigate their roles.
Through his research, Tony discovered BET, a protein that binds to an abnormal protein known as MLL, created through the fusion of two genes that originally coded for separate proteins. This event leads to the most common type of leukaemia in children under two years of age. Tony showed that blocking BET offered a potential treatment and related clinical trials are now being planned.
Tony has published over 160 scientific papers and is a member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has won many awards, including a Wellcome Trust medal for research in biochemistry related to medicine and the 2013 Heinrich Wieland Prize.
Interest and expertise
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Biochemistry and molecular biology, Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)