Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Shilatifard Laboratory

About Our Lab

The regulation of gene transcription by RNA polymerase II is critical for development and differentiation, and its misregulation contributes to the pathogenesis of many cancers, including leukemia. The overall goal of our laboratory is to define the molecular mechanisms underlying leukemogenesis and to identify potential targets for therapy through detailed studies of proteins and protein complexes that regulate chromatin modifications, transcription initiation, and transcription elongation.

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Lab Positions Available


Recent Publications

UTX Mutations in Human Cancer.

Wang L, Shilatifard A. Cancer Cell. 2019 Feb 11;35(2):168-176. Review.

Regulation of MLL/COMPASS stability through its proteolytic cleavage by taspase1 as a possible approach for clinical therapy of leukemia.

Zhao Z, et al. Genes Dev. 2019 Jan 1;33(1-2):61-74. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

TET2 coactivates gene expression through demethylation of enhancers.

Wang L, Ozark PA, Smith ER, Zhao Z, Marshall SA, Rendleman EJ, Piunti A, Ryan C, Whelan AL, Helmin KA, Morgan MA, Zou L, Singer BD, Shilatifard A. Sci Adv. 2018 Nov 

Targeting Processive Transcription Elongation via SEC Disruption for MYC-Induced Cancer Therapy.

Liang K, Smith ER, Aoi Y, Stoltz KL, Katagi H, Woodfin AR, Rendleman EJ, Marshall SA, Murray DC, Wang L, Ozark PA, Mishra RK, Hashizume R, Schiltz GE, Shilatifard A. Cell. 2018 Oct

Structure and Conformational Dynamics of a COMPASS Histone H3K4 Methyltransferase Complex.

Qu Q, Takahashi YH, Yang Y, Hu H, Zhang Y, Brunzelle JS, Couture JF, Shilatifard A, Skiniotis G. Cell. 2018 Aug 

Impactful science as the guiding principle. Shilatifard A. Sci Adv. 2018 Jul

Epigenetic ConFUSION: SS18-SSX Fusion Rewires BAF Complex to Activate Bivalent Genes in Synovial Sarcoma. Morgan MA, Shilatifard A. Cancer Cell. 2018 Jun

Resetting the epigenetic balance of Polycomb and COMPASS function at enhancers for cancer therapy. Wang L, Zhao Z, Ozark PA, Fantini D, Marshall SA, Rendleman EJ, Cozzolino KA, Louis N, He X, Morgan MA, Takahashi YH, Collings CK, Smith ER, Ntziachristos P, Savas JN, Zou L, Hashizume R, Meeks JJ, Shilatifard A. Nat Med. 2018 Jun

Enhancer Logic and Mechanics in Development and Disease. Rickels R, Shilatifard A. Trends Cell Biol. 2018 May

Born to run: control of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II. Chen FX, Smith ER, Shilatifard A. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Jul

Ali Shilatifard, PhD

Ali Shilatifard, PhD
Robert Francis Furchgott Professor
Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Director, Simpson Querrey Center for Epigenetics

Read Ali Shilatifard's academic biography.

For more information, click here to visit our department page.