Dr. He is the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. He received his bachelor of science degree in 1994 from the University of Science and Technology of China and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000, studying under professor Stephen J. Lippard. After training as a Damon-Runyon postdoctoral fellow with professor Gregory L. Verdine at Harvard University, he joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor, rising to associate professor in 2008 and full professor in 2010.
He was selected as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2013. Dr. He’s research spans a broad range of fields including chemical biology, RNA biology, epigenetics, biochemistry, and genomics. His recent research concerns reversible RNA and DNA methylation in biological regulation. In 2011, his group discovered reversible RNA methylation as a new mechanism of gene expression regulation. His laboratory has spearheaded the development of enabling technologies to study the biology of RNA and DNA modifications.