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Our Team

Meet the Shilatifard Lab team members. We welcome requests for information about our work and collaboration opportunities.

Principal Investigator

Ali Shilatifard, PhD

Ali Shilatifard, PhD

Robert Francis Furchgott Professor
Chairman, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Director of the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics

ASH( at )northwestern.edu

312-503-5223

PhD: University of Oklahoma, Biochemistry (1994)

Curriculum vitae

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Ali Shilatifard, PhD, is the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and a Professor of Pediatrics, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics. 

As a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow, Shilatifard made a seminal contribution to the field of leukemia biology by identifying the first function of any of the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) translocation partners, which is when a section of one chromosome changes place with that of another chromosome, creating a mutation. In the 20 years since that discovery, he has dedicated his career to revealing the causes of childhood leukemia and other cancers, and providing detailed molecular insight into the role of epigenetics in cancer.

Research from his laboratory is leading to the development of promising, epigenetic target-specific drugs for childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer. The epigenetic inhibitors developed in the laboratory are currently being tested to treat childhood leukemia, brain cancer, and other solid tumors. His lab has been continuously funded by multiple grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society to conduct this research.

Recognition of his work from the scientific and biomedical research communities includes:

He is deeply committed to the training and career development of scientists and physician-scientists. In addition to the many students and postdoctoral fellows he’s mentored through his laboratory, Shilatifard was an instructor for 16 years for the three-week Gene Expression course at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He has presented over 400 invited lectures at scientific meetings and universities in the United States and at international institutes and has organized over 20 international meetings on chromatin, transcription, epigenetics and cancer.

Shilatifard has served as senior editor for the journal Science, and is currently serving as the Editor for Science Advances. He previously served as editor for Molecular and Cellular Biology and as a member of eLife's Board of Reviewing Editors. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards of Genentech, the Max Planck Society, and a Biomedicine Jury Member of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards.

Research Professor

Noah Birch, MD, PhD

Noah Birch, MD, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Hematology and Oncology

noah.birch( at )northwestern.edu

Sarah Gold, PhD

Sarah Gold, PhD

Science Writer

sarah.gold( at )northwestern.edu

Marta Iwanaszko, PhD

Marta Iwanaszko, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

m.iwanaszko( at )northwestern.edu

Rama Mishra, PhD

Rama Mishra, PhD

Assistant Professor

r-mishra( at )northwestern.edu

Zibo Zhao, PhD

Zibo Zhao, PhD

Assistant Professor

zibo.zhao( at )northwestern.edu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yuki Aoi, PhD

Yuki Aoi, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

yuki.aoi( at )northwestern.edu

Bercin Cenik MD, PhD

Bercin Cenik MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

bercin.cenik( at )northwestern.edu

Madhurima Das, PhD

Madhurima Das, PhD

Research Associate

madhurima.das( at )northwestern.edu

Simone De Fabritiis, PhD

Simone De Fabritiis, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

simone.defabritiis( at )northwestern.edu

Saeid Parast, PhD

Saeid Parast, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

saeidm( at )northwestern.edu

Shimaa Soliman, PhD

Shimaa Soliman, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

shimaa.soliman( at )northwestern.edu

Bin Zheng, PhD

Bin Zheng, PhD

Feinberg Fellow

BinZheng2016( at )u.northwestern.edu

Research Staff

Grant Andersen

Grant Andersen

Research Technician

grant.andersen( at )northwestern.edu

Ben Howard

Ben Howard

Research Technician

benjamin.howard( at )northwestern.edu

Brianna Monroe, MS

Brianna Monroe, MS

Senior Medical Illustrator/Animator

brianna.monroe( at )northwestern.edu

Ruxuan Qiu, MS

Ruxuan Qiu, MS

Research Technician

ruxuan-qiu( at )northwestern.edu

Luke St. John

Luke St. John

Research Technician

luke.stjohn( at )northwestern.edu

Jacob Zeidner

Jacob Zeidner

Research Technician

jacob.zeidner( at )northwestern.edu

Graduate Students

Yue He

Yue He

Graduate Student

yue.he( at )northwestern.edu

Leila Iravani

Leila Iravani

Master of Biotechnology Student

leila.iravani( at )northwestern.edu

Summer Research Interns

Isabella Mroczek

Isabella Mroczek

Undergraduate Research Intern

izzymroczek2025( at )u.northwestern.edu

Will Thakur

Will Thakur

Undergraduate Research Intern

williamthakur2025( at )u.northwestern.edu

Administration

Linda Jackson

Linda Jackson

Administrative Assistant

linda.jackson( at )northwestern.edu

312.503.5229

Beverly Kirk

Beverly Kirk

Program Coordinator

beverly.kirk( at )northwestern.edu

Laura Ann Shilatifard

Laura Ann Shilatifard

Director of the SQE Inspire Program

lus( at )northwestern.edu