Biographical information



Associate Professor

Program in Molecular Medicine and Immunology Training Program

Section of Hematology/Oncology, Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine


Harvard College (A.B.)
University of Tokyo (M.Sc.)
University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)


1979–81    Research assistant, Physics Department, Harvard University. High Energy Physics Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

1981–83    Research assistant, Biochemistry Department, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)

1983–85    Research assistant, University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokyo, Japan

1985–90    Research assistant, Molecular and Cellular Biology Department, University of California, Berkeley

1991–96    Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester

1997–00    Instructor in Medicine, Cancer Research Center, BUSM

2000–10    Assistant Professor of Medicine, BUSM

2003–10    Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, BUSM

2003–        Member and Instructor, Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine, BUSM

2003–        Hematology Training Program-affiliated faculty member, “Research Training in Blood Diseases and Resources”, T32 HL007501, BUSM

2006–11    Scientific co-Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, BUSM

2012          Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, BUSM

2007–        Immunology Training Program-affiliated faculty member, “Research Program in Immunology”, T32 AI007309, BUSM

2008–        Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center-affiliated faculty member P30 DK046200, BUSM

2010–        Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Community Outreach

2006 – 12    Boston Medical Reserve Corps (Disaster Preparedness, Mass Casualty Exercises, Influenza Inoculation Clinics)

2009 – 10    Boston Marathon, Medical Tent A (Emergency and Triage)

2006 – 09    American Cancer Society Speakers Bureau, US Northeast Region

2008 – 09    American Cancer Society Relay for Life


1983, Tokyo Biochemical Society Scholarship
1984, Yoneyama Rotary Foundation Fellowship, Tokyo
1997, NIH FIRST award
1997, Aid for Cancer Research Award
2004, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award
2005, Jiler – American Cancer Society Professors Meeting, competitive abstract winner/participant

Professional Memberships and Experience

2000–        American Society of Hematology (elected)

2006–        American Association for Cancer Research

2009–        The Obesity Society

2011–12    The Obesity Society Basic Science Section Chair

2012–        American Association of Immunologists

2012–13    Obesity Week 2013 Board of Managers

2013            Elected Fellow of The Obesity Society

2013 – 14   Vice-Chair, Obesity and Cancer Section, The Obesity Society

2014 – 15   Chair-Elect, Obesity and Cancer Section, The Obesity Society

Community Boards

2013 –         South End Community Health Center, Boston, MA. Finance Committee. With special emphasis on obesity and its metabolic complications in inner city populations. Full Board member November 2013

Peer review activities

1998–        Reviewer ad hoc: Diabetes, Endocrinology, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.; Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Blood, Cell. Physiol. Biochem., Cancer Res., Clin. Cancer Res., EMBO J., Epigenetics, FASEB J., Gene, Genomics, Haematologica, Int. J. Cancer, J. Immunol., Mol. Cancer Therap., Mol. Cell. Biochem., Mol. Cell. Biol., Open Leukemia J, PLoS One.

2000–12    Managing editorships: Journal of the Pancreas, Frontiers in Bioscience; Editorial boards: Frontiers in Bioscience

2004–08    NIH Peer Review Committee: Cancer Prevention Research and Epidemiology Study Section (NCI). ad hoc 2011 – 2013 inclusive

2005          NIH Peer Review Committee: Initiative on Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC), (NCI)

2005–12    Peer Review Committee: Leukemia, Immunology and Blood Cell Development, American Cancer Society (Regular Member, term expired 2010; ad hoc 2011 – 2012)

2005–        Peer Review of applications to Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society

2005–        Peer Review Committee: State of Florida Department of Health, James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program for cancer research grants

2009–        Reviewer ad hoc, National Science Foundation, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

2012–        Institute of Medicine Advisory Panel on nutrition, diabetes and obesity (Dir: Dr Barbara Hansen)

2013          NIH Peer Review Committee: NCI Provocative Questions (PQB), (NCI). Ad hoc

Invited scientific presentations

(2011). Bromodomain co-regulators in obesity, cancer and inflammation. Symposium on NF-κB, cancer, obesity and inflammation. Cincinnati Cancer Symposium Series, Cincinnati

(2012). Mechanisms that link obesity and cancer. Society for Preventive Medicine. Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA

(2012). Cancer and energy balance. The Obesity Society, San Antonio, TX

(2012). Obesity and cancer risk. 20th United Europoean Gastroenterology Week, Amsterdam

(2013). Unresolved, chronic inflammation as a critical link between insulin-resistant obesity and cancer. American Association of Immunologists, Honolulu, HI

(2013). Chronic inflammation as a critical link between insulin-resistant obesity and certain cancers. Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA

(2014). Chair. Unresolved, chronic inflammation as a mediator of diverse disease risks in insulin-resistant obesity. American Association of Immunologists, Pittsburgh, PA

Recent Publications

Belkina AC, Nikolajczyk BS, Denis GV. (2013). BET protein function is required for inflammation: Brd2 genetic disruption and BET inhibitor JQ1 impair macrophage inflammatory responses. J. Immunol. 190: 3670–3678. PMCID: PMC3608815

DeFuria J, Belkina AC, Jagannathan-Bogdan M, Snyder-Cappione J, Carr JD, Nersesova Y, Markham D, Strissel KJ, Watkins A, Allen J, Bouchard J, Toraldo G, Jasuja R, Obin MS, McDonnell ME, Apovian CM, Denis GV, Nikolajczyk BS. (2013). B cells regulate the pro-inflammatory T cell balance in obesity and metabolic disease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.110:5133–5188. PMCID: PMC3612635

Belkina AC, Denis GV (2012). BET domain co-regulators in obesity, inflammation and cancer. Nature Rev. Cancer. 12: 465–477. PMCID – In process.

Nikolajczyk BS, Jagannathan-Bogdan M, Denis GV. (2012). The outliers become a stampede as immunometabolism reaches a tipping point. Immunol. Rev. 249: 253–275. PMID: 22889227, PMCID PMC3419483

Denis GV. (2010). Bromodomain coactivators in cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes and inflammation. Discov Med. 10:489–499. PMCID: PMC3025494

Belkina AC, Denis GV. (2010). Obesity genes and insulin resistance. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 17:472–477. PMID: 20585247 PMCID: PMCID: PMC307938

Denis GV, Nikolajczyk BS, Schnitzler GR. (2010). An emerging role for bromodomain-containing proteins in chromatin regulation and transcriptional control of adipogenesis. FEBS Lett. 584:3260–3268. PMCID: PMC2914217

Wang F, Liu H, Blanton WP, Belkina A, Lebrasseur NK, Denis GV. (2009). Brd2 disruption in mice causes severe obesity without type 2 diabetes. Biochem J. 425:71–83. PMCID: PMC2819394

Important recent reviews:

Denis GV, Huffman D, LeBrasseur NK (2013). The biology of aging: Role in cancer, metabolic dysfunction and health disparities. In Energy Balance and Cancer, Volume 9: Impact of Energy Balance on Cancer Disparities. DJ Bowen, GV Denis, NA Berger, Eds.; Springer, New York. Expected November 2013.

Denis GV, Hamilton JA (2013). Healthy obese persons: How can they be identified and do metabolic profiles stratify risk? Curr. Opin. Endocrinol. Diabetes Obes. 20:369–376. PMID 23974763, PMCID – In process

Denis GV, Bowen DJ. (2013). Uncoupling obesity from cancer: Bromodomain co-regulators that control networks of inflammatory genes. In Energy Balance and Cancer, Chapter 3, Volume 8: Obesity, Inflammation and Cancer. AJ Dannenberg, NA Berger, Eds.; Springer, New York. pp. 61–82.

Wang F, Deeney JT, Denis GV. (2013). Brd2 gene disruption causes ‘metabolically healthy’ obesity: Epigenetic and chromatin-based mechanisms that uncouple obesity from Type 2 diabetes. In Vitamins and Hormones 91: 49–75. G Litwack, Ed.; Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam. PMID: 23374712

Additional publications of interest:

Ehrlich DJ, McKenna BK, Evans JG, Belkina AC, Denis GV, Sherr DH, Cheung MC. (2011). Parallel imaging microfluidic cytometer. Meth Cell Biol. 12: In press.

Longe HO, PB Romesser, AM Rankin, DV Faller, MS Eller, BA Gilchrest and GV Denis (2009). Telomere homolog oligonucleotides induce apoptosis in malignant but not in normal lymphoid cells: Mechanism and therapeutic potential. Int. J. Cancer. 124: 473–482.

Romesser PB, Perlman DH, Faller DV, Costello CE, McComb ME, Denis GV. (2009). Development of a malignancy-associated proteomic signature for diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Am J Pathol. 175:25–35.

Lenburg ME, Sinha A, Faller DV, Denis GV. (2007). Tumor-specific and proliferation-specific gene expression typifies murine transgenic B cell lymphomagenesis. J Biol Chem. 282:4803–4811.

Denis GV, McComb ME, Faller DV, Sinha A, Romesser PB, Costello CE (2006). Identification of transcription complexes that contain the double bromodomain protein Brd2 and chromatin remodeling machines. J Proteome Res. 5:502–511

You J, Srinivasan V, Denis GV, Harrington WJ Jr, Ballestas ME, Kaye KM, Howley PM. (2006). Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency-associated nuclear antigen interacts with bromodomain protein Brd4 on host mitotic chromosomes. J Virol. 80:8909–8919.

Sinha A, Faller DV, Denis GV. (2005). Bromodomain analysis of Brd2-dependent transcriptional activation of cyclin A. Biochem J. 387:257–269.

Book Chapters
Denis, G. V. (2007). Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) and the emergence of chemotherapeutic drug-resistant mutations. In H. L. Kaufman, S. Wadler and K. H. Antman, Eds., Cancer Drug Discovery and Development; Specific Drugs for Molecular Targeting in Oncology, Part IV, Chapter 22. Humana Press; Totowa, NJ. In press.

Seminal, early insights into BET protein structure and function:

Denis GV. (2001). Bromodomain motifs and “scaffolding”? Frontiers in Bioscience 6: D1065-8. PMID: 11532602; PMC3042883

Denis GV. (2001). Duality in bromodomain-containing protein complexes. Frontiers in Bioscience 6: D849-52. PMID: 11487463; PMC3034383

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine