Tony Kouzarides

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Tony Kouzarides
Born (1958-01-17) 17 January 1958 (age 63)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Leeds (BSc)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
AwardsHeinrich Wieland Prize (2013)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2012)[2]
FMedSci (2001)[3]
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Leeds
University of Cambridge
Gurdon Institute
New York University
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
ThesisA molecular analysis of transformation by human cytomegalovirus (1985)
Doctoral advisorTony Minson[4]

Tony Kouzarides, FMedSci,[3] FRS[2] is a senior group leader Gurdon Institute,[5] a founding non-executive director of Abcam[6] and a Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge.[7]


Tony did his PhD at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral work at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and New York University Medical Center. His research group at the Gurdon Institute is focused on epigenetic modifications and their involvement in cancer.

Research & Activities[edit]

Epigenetic modifications and cancer

Do enzymes that modify chromatin and RNA offer therapeutic targets? DNA exists in the cell nucleus wrapped around histone proteins to form chromatin. The DNA and histones are decorated with many types of covalent chemical modifications, which can affect transcription and other cellular processes. In addition, non-coding RNAs that regulate chromatin function can be similarly chemically modified. Our lab is involved in characterising the pathways that mediate and control DNA, RNA and histone modifications. We try to understand the cellular processes they regulate, their mechanism of action and their involvement in cancer.

Our focus at the moment is modifications of messenger RNA (mRNA) and non-coding RNA. There are very few modifications identified on these low-abundance RNAs, unlike on transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA, where there are many. We have been developing sensitive technologies to detect modifications, such as specific antibodies, chemical reactivity assays and mass spectrometry. Using these, we have been able to detect a number of novel modifications on mRNA and microRNA (short length non-coding RNAs) and have shown that these function to regulate mRNA translation and microRNA processing. Furthermore, we have shown that the enzymes that mediate these modifications are implicated in acute myeloid leukaemia.

Tony Kouzarides is Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge and a group leader at the Gurdon Institute. He currently holds the following directorships: Director and Co-founder of the Milner Therapeutics Institute, director of Cambridge Gravity and director of STORM Therapeutics.

Tony is founder/director of Cambridge Gravity, an organization for the promotion of science at the University of Cambridge. He is founder, patron and ex-director of a cancer charity in Spain called Conquer Cancer (Vencer el Cancer). He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute of Cancer Research (UK) and on the Executive Board of the CRUK Cambridge Cancer Centre.

Tony is a co-founder and ex-director of Abcam plc, a publicly trading research reagents company in Cambridge, a co-founder and ex-director of Chroma Therapeutics, of a drug discovery company based in Oxford and a co-founder and current director of STORM Therapeutics, a drug discovery company based in Cambridge.

Awards & Prizes[edit]

Kouzarides has been elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, Fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and is a Cancer Research UK Gibb Fellow. He has been awarded the Wellcome Trust medal for research in biochemistry related to medicine (UK), the Tenovus Medal (UK), the Bodossaki Foundation prize in Biology (Greece), the Bijvoet Medal (Holland), the Biochemical Society Award Novartis Medal and Prize (UK) and the Heinrich Wieland Prize (Germany).


  1. ^ "KOUZARIDES, Prof. Tony". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 March 2015. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Professor Tony Kouzarides FMedSci FRS". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b "The Academy of Medical Sciences | Directory of Fellows". Archived from the original on 6 June 2013.
  4. ^ Cranage, M. P.; Kouzarides, T.; Bankier, A. T.; Satchwell, S.; Weston, K.; Tomlinson, P.; Barrell, B.; Hart, H.; Bell, S. E.; Minson, A. C. (1986). "Identification of the human cytomegalovirus glycoprotein B gene and induction of neutralizing antibodies via its expression in recombinant vaccinia virus". The EMBO Journal. 5 (11): 3057–3063. doi:10.1002/j.1460-2075.1986.tb04606.x. PMC 1167261. PMID 3024973.
  5. ^ "The Kouzarides Lab at the Gurdon Institute". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Abcam board of directors". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Professor Tony Kouzarides profile- Cambridge Cancer Centre". Archived from the original on 6 June 2013.