Xiaodong Cheng Elected Fellow to AAAS

Xiaodong ChengXiaodong Cheng, professor of biochemistry and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, was elected as a fellow to the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Cheng was recognized for his "distinguished contributions to the field of epigenetics by elucidating structural insights and enzymatic mechanisms of DNA and histone modification enzymes."

Dr. Cheng is a distinguished structural biologist. He and his colleagues use X-rays to probe the details of the molecular machines that add and remove methylation. Methylation is a punctuation-like modification of DNA or DNA-packaging proteins. Methylation can influence which parts of the genetic code are read by an individual cell, without changing the actual letters. The study of methylation is part of epigenetics: examining how cells store information “on top of” the genetic code, with applications ranging from cancer to stem cells.