Chuan He is an expert in the field of RNA modification biology and cancer epigenetics. He was the first to champion the idea that modifications to RNA are reversible and can control gene expression. His work is foundational to developing potential therapies that target RNA methylation effectors against human diseases such as cancer.
Prof. He’s team was the first to identify eraser proteins, which can undo changes made to RNA molecules, which sparked the emergence of epitranscriptome research. Prof. He's team explained how RNA methylation functions through characterizing reader proteins—processes that known to play critical roles in many types of cancer, including endometrial cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia, and glioblastoma.
A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, He has served as director of UChicago’s Institute for Biophysical Dynamics. His many honors include a Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Award. He has authored or co-authored nearly 300 publications.