En Li, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant & K36 Scientific Advisor
En Li was vice president of research at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge since its inception in 2003. He led the epigenetics drug discovery program and model of disease center to discover novel drug targets in multiple disease areas. Most recently, he was general manager and site head of NIBR Shanghai, China where he established a fully integrated R&D center with 250 scientists specialized in disease biology and translational medicine, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacology. The NIBR Shanghai team embarked on drug discovery in cancer, liver disease (NASH and fibrosis), and regenerative medicine and advanced multiple preclinical and clinical drug candidates into the NIBR global pipeline. One of the cancer epigenetics projects led to the discovery of PRC2 (EED) inhibitor, MAK683, which achieved positive proof-of-concept in human clinical trials.
Before joining Novartis, En was a faculty member and associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where his research was focused on epigenetics and mouse development. His lab made the original discovery of DNA methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B which were shown to be responsible for de novo DNA methylation of the mammalian genome and play an important role in embryonic development, genomic imprinting, and regulation of gene expression. His lab also made important discoveries that the Activin/BMP signaling pathways play essential roles in mesoderm induction, organ formation, and vascular development in mice.
En received his Ph.D. in Biology from MIT.