Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (January 27 - February 28)：
Professor Li’s research focuses on epigenetics, which is the study of heritable changes in phenotype that occur without changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for many cellular processes, such as gene-expression regulation, genome organization, and cell-fate determination. Defects in epigenetic regulation have been implicated in a variety of diseases, including cancer. The aim of Professor Li’s research is to understand the fundamental principles of epigenetic regulation. Toward this goal, he has chosen to study the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe), a model eukaryotic organism well suited to a combination of powerful experimental approaches, including genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and genomics. Importantly, fission yeast contains many conserved epigenetic components, and has thus emerged as a premier model for epigenetic study.