Bing Ren, Ph.D.


I joined the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in 2001. My laboratory is investigating the mechanisms of gene regulation in normal and cancer cells. My study has contributed to the understanding of genome organization and regulation in human cells. In particular, I invented a transformative approach for genome-wide determination of transcription factor binding and chromatin modification. My lab produced the first comprehensive maps of transcriptional regulatory sequences in the human genome that helped to advance our understanding of the dynamic and cell-type specific expression of genes. My lab further elucidated the general principles of chromosome folding and organization. We have also applied the tools and knowledge of gene regulation to study of human cancers, through close collaborations with researchers at the Ludwig Institute and UCSD.

Selected Honors

  • Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award
  • Distinguished Young Investigator Award, Chinese Biological Investigators Society
  • Elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Named “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters
  • Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research
  • Speaker, the Max Birnstiel Lecture at the Institute of Molecular Pathology, Austria (2019)
  • Keynote Speaker, International Human Epigenome Consortium meeting (2019)

Selected National/International Professional Activities

  • Senior Editor, Cancer Research, published by the American Association of Cancer Research
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Conferences
  • Member, the Cancer Genetics study section (CG) of NIH Center for Scientific Review
  • Associate Editor, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIRES): Systems Biology
  • Associate Editor, PLoS Genetics (2009 – 2015)
  • Reviewing Editor, eLife (2014-2017)
  • Co-organizer of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Conference on Systems Biology (2007, 2008)
  • Co-organizer of the Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conferences on “Systems Biology” (2011, 2012, 2017)
  • Co-organizer of two Keystone Conferences (2015, 2019)

Prior position

I obtained my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 1998 and then carried out postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute from 1998 to 2001. In 2001, I chose to join the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, over tenure-track positions in other Institutions (such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) because of the prospective that the Institute would provide long-term research support and full salary, which enables me to pursue highly innovative research. I was promoted to Member of Ludwig and full Professor at UC San Diego in 2009. In 2016, I turned down a directorship position at the University of Chicago to remain on the Ludwig faculty, because of the outstanding scientific environment and long-term salary and research support provided by the institute.