Dr. Ali Shilatifard is currently a senior Investigator at the Stowers Institute, Kansas City. Ali carried out his PhD at the University of Georgia and University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, staying in the same area and continuing on as a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow. At this time Shilatifard made a seminal contribution to the field of leukemia biology by identifying the first function of any of the MLL translocation partners. Since forming his own group in 1997, Shilatifard has continued to make breakthrough advances in the fields of transcription, cancer and chromatin, regularly publishing in the top ranking journals Cell, Genes and Development and Mol Cell. Recently, Shilatifard’s laboratory demonstrated that many of the MLL partners in leukemia are found with ELL within a Super Elongation Complex (SEC) regulating the transcription of the MLL-chimera target genes. This seminal finding has provided a new clue and target for developing targeted therapeutics for leukemia caused by MLL translocations. He has been recipient of the Sword of the American Cancer Society (2002), the ASBMB-Amgen Award (2006) and the American Cancer Society Award of Excellence (2006). He is currently serving as an editor for Molecular and Cellular Biology.