Dr. Kristian Helin, Academician of Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is appointed as an Honorary Professor of Tianjin Medical University



Upon invitation, Dr. Kristian Helin visited TMU on May 10, and was appointed as an Honorary Professor of our university. Professor Chunshui YU and Professor Yi ZHU, vice presidents of TMU, along with leaders from International Exchange and Cooperation Department as well as from Cell Biology Department of School of Basic Medical Sciences, attended the appointing ceremony.

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University leaders warmly welcomed Dr. Kristian Helin for his visit and congratulated him on his outstanding achievement in biomedical research and epigenetics, and hoped to have comprehensive research collaboration with Dr. Helin. Professor Chunshui YU introduced TMU and the progress we have made in recent years in respect of medical education, research, and medical practice. Professor Yi ZHU issued Dr. Helin the certificate of “TMU Honorary Professor”on behalf of the university. Dr. Helin said he was very happy to visit TMU and he would like to take the opportunity to further strengthen the cooperation between  the two sides.


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Following the Conferring Ceremony, Dr. Helin conducted a seminar entitled Epigenetic    Targets in Cancer”in Longde Hall, as a session of the “Academic Forum by Overseas Distinguished Professors”, which was hosted by Vice President Chunshui YU. Dr. Helin started off his talk with the introduction to epigenetics, chromatin biology and its significance in the regulation of cell fates. Given that aberrant epigenetic states are tightly    correlated with improper gene expression and therefore developmental defects or cancers, epigenetic therapies have been attracting more and more attention. To identify more effective and specific epigenetic targets for cancer therapy, his team has been focusing on the understanding of maintenance factors for cell fates. Then Dr. Helin went through the published findings from his lab in this direction, mainly on Polycomb group    proteins and DNA methylation.

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Apart from TMU’s teachers and students, the audience also consisted of scholars and experts from Nankai University and the Haematology Institute of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, with a total of nearly 500 people attending the seminar. During the two hours seminar, there were a lot of interactions between the speaker and the listeners, who were very impressed and attracted by Dr. Helin’s presentation and asked quality questions from various perspectives of their own research interests.


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In his address, Vice President Yi ZHU emphasized that we must take advantage of this Forum and other academic activities, to invite more and more internationally prestigious scientists to TMU, and promote the first-class discipline developmentwhile providing international communication platform for the purpose of TMU’s becoming a high-level , research-type medical university. In addition, these academic activities can widen the global vision of our university’s students and faculty members, and are beneficial to the cultivation of innovative talents and scientists.


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Dr. Kristian Helin is an academician of Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Director of BRIC, professor and associate dean at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Dr. Helinhas been one of the founding group leaders at the Danish Stem Cell Center, and he was elected as a member of EMBO. He will hold the post of Director of Epigenetics Research Center in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) (USA) this September. Dr. Helin mainly focuses on the research of epigenetics of stem cell and tumor and has published about 200 academic papers of high impact; So far, his publications have been cited around 30,000 times. Moreover his discoveries have led to the development of small molecule inhibitors for the future treatment of cancer patients. Dr. Helin has received several prestigious awards for outstanding biomedical research, including the Novo Nordisk Prize, the Carlsberg Foundation Prize, and the Anders Jahre Senior Medical Research Prize.


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