Contact information

Phone:+86-10-62771392 (office)

Email:lht @


Haitao Li Ph.D.

Professor | Winner of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars|FRCBS Executive Committee Member


1993-1997Department of Microbiology, Shandong University B.S.

1997-2003Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Ph.D.

2003-2010Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Research Fellow (2003), Research Associate (2005), and Senior Research Scientist (2006) Research Fellow

2010-2016School of Medicine, Tsinghua University Associate Professor

2016-PresentSchool of Medicine, Tsinghua University Professor

Main Reaearch Fields

Professor Li’s research is focused on gaining a molecular understanding of epigenetic regulation. Epigenetics concerns the process by which genetic information is organized and decoded at the chromosomal level. Epigenetic mechanisms include chemical modifications to histones or DNA/RNA, histone variants, chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNAs. Epigenetics plays a key role in many biological processes, ranging from gene regulation to cell fate decision. Meanwhile, accumulating evidence points to an association between epigenetic dysregulation and diverse human diseases, notably cancer. We apply structural biology blended with other biochemical and cell biological approaches to study key molecular recognition and catalysis events involved in epigenetic regulation and modification biology. Other endeavors in the lab include “lab-on-chip” biointeraction tool development and structure-based drug discovery.

Selected Publications

1. Ren X, Zhao Y, Xue Z, Hao N, Li Y, Guo X, Wang D, Shi X, and Li H* (2021) Histone benzoylation serves as an epigenetic mark for DPF and YEATS family proteins. Nucleic Acids Res 49: 114-126
2. Zhao F, Liu Y, Su X, Lee JE, Song Y, Wang D, Ge K, Gao J, Zhang MQ, and Li H* (2020) Molecular basis for histone H3 “K4me3-K9me3/2” methylation pattern readout by Spindlin1. J Biol Chem 295: 16877-16887
3. Armache A, Yang S, Eobbins LE, Durmaz C, Daman AW, Jeong JQ, Marinez de Paz A, Ravishankar A, Arslan T, Lin S, Panchenko T, Garcia BA, Hake SB, Allis CD, Li H*, and Josefowicz SZ* (2020) Histone H3.3 phosphorylation amplifies stimulation-induced transcription. Nature 583: 852–857
4. Li Z, Zhao S, Nelakanti RV, Lin K, Wu TP, Alderman III MH, Guo C, Wang P, Zhang M, Min W, Jiang Z, Wang Y, Li H*, Xiao A* (2020) N6-methyladenine in DNA antagonizes chromatin organizer SATB1 in early development. Nature 583: 625–630
5. Zhang M, Yang S, Nelakanti R, Zhao W, Liu G, Li Z, Liu X, Wu T, Xiao A*, and Li H* (2020) Mammalian ALKBH1 serves as an N6-mA demethylase of unpairing DNA. Cell Res 30: 197-210
6. Zhao S, Cheng L, Gao Y, Zhang B, Zheng X, Wang L, Li P*, Sun Q*, and Li H* (2019) Plant HP1 protein ADCP1 links multivalent H3K9 methylation readout to heterochromatin formation. Cell Res 29, 54-66
7. Zhao S, Yang M, Zhou W, Zhang B, Cheng Z, Huang J. Zhang M, Wang Z, Wang R, Chen Z, Zhu J*, and Li H* (2017) Kinetic and high-throughput profiling of epigenetic interactions by 3D-carbene chip-based surface plasmon resonance imaging technology. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114: E7245-E7254
8. Xiong X, Panchenko T, Yang S, Zhao S, Yan P, Zhang W, Xie W, Li Y, Zhao Y, Allis CD, and Li H* (2016) Selective recognition of histone crotonylation by double PHD fingers of MOZ and DPF2. Nat Chem Biol 12:1111-1118
9. Yang S, Zheng X, Lu C, Li G-M, Allis CD, and Li H* (2016) Molecular basis for oncohistone H3 recognition by SETD2 methyltransferase. Genes Dev 30:1611-1616
10. Li Y, Sabari BR, Panchenko T, Wen H, Zhao D, Guan H, Wan L, Tang Z, Zhao Y, Roeder R. Shi X, Allis CD*, and Li H* (2016) Molecular coupling of histone crotonylation and active transcription by AF9 YEATS domain. Mol Cell 62:181-193