Cypriot Tony Kouzarides awarded British Knighthood for Services to Healthcare Innovation and Delivery

Cyprus-born Professor Tony Kouzarides, PhD, FMedSci, FRS, will be honored with a Knighthood for his global impact on disease treatment.

Having been born in Famagusta in 1958 and moving to the UK in 1974, Kouzarides is Founder & Director of STORM Therapeutics Ltd. (STORM), a clinical stage company pioneering cellular reprogramming through RNA modifications to treat disease, and also a Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Kouzarides, a world-leading cancer biologist with a career spanning over 25 years, will be awarded the knighthood at the King's Birthday Honors, 2024, Investiture ceremony.

As noted in an announcement published by STORM, Professor Kouzarides has been dedicated to the conversion of science into patient benefit throughout his career.

"STORM Therapeutics was spun out from the University of Cambridge in 2015 by Professor Kouzarides and his colleague Professor Eric Miska, following their groundbreaking work in RNA epigenetics. Professor Kouzarides and his research group identified the importance of RNA modifications during the development of cancer, opening the pathway for STORM to develop first-in-class drugs targeting this new mechanism. STORM's platform, eliciting cellular reprogramming through RNA modification, has potential beyond cancer in areas including neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation and infectious diseases," the announcement said.

Kouzarides commented,"I am honored to receive this award, which reinforces the importance of translating basic research into therapies by engaging academic researchers with healthcare businesses. STORM Therapeutics represents a shining example of this principle."

Jerry McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of STORM Therapeutics, meanwhile, added, "STORM is delighted to see Tony recognized nationally as a pioneer in the field of cellular reprogramming through RNA modification. Receiving this honor from the King is the pinnacle of a tremendous and productive career. Tony's commitment, focus and dedication has been unwavering, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as STORM's programs advance into the clinic as effective treatments for patients."   

In addition to his role at STORM, Professor Kouzarides is Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Group Leader at the university's Gurdon Institute, specializing in developmental biology and cancer biology. He is also the Director and Co-Founder of the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge, which focuses on building scientific collaborations to transform therapies. Professor Kouzarides also has his own laboratory in Cambridge, The TK LAB and has been studying epigenetic modifications for many years, starting with the identification of the first human enzymes to modify chromatin in 1996. His lab has identified and characterized many chromatin modification pathways and showed their involvement in cancer. The lab is now investigating the functions of mRNA modifications and their connections to cancer. In close collaboration with STORM Therapeutics, The Kouzarides Lab is targeting RNA modification pathways with small molecule inhibitors, to develop drugs against cancer and other diseases.

Professor Kouzarides is also the Founder and Director of Cambridge Gravity, an organization for the promotion of science at the University of Cambridge. He is Founder and Patron of the Spanish cancer charity Vencer el Cancer ("Conquer Cancer"). Professor Kouzarides is Co-Founder and ex-Director of antibodies and reagents company Abcam, which was sold to the Danaher Corporation for US$5.7 billion (£4.5bn) in 2023. He was also Co-Founder and ex-Director of Chroma Therapeutics, a drug discovery company based in Oxford.

Professor Kouzarides is an elected member of the European Molecular Laboratory Organization (EMBO), 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 fellow of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. He has also been awarded the Bodossaki Foundation prize in Biology, the Wellcome Trust Award for Research in Biochemistry Related to Medicine, the Tenovus Medal, the Bijvoet Medal, the Biochemical Society Novartis Medal and Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the Cyprus Excellence in Science Award and the Nemitsas Prize. Find out more about Professor Kouzarides on his Wikipedia page, here.

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