Epigenomics of Development and Disease
The Epigenetics Working Group unites multiple research teams using different conceptual frameworks and experimental approaches to study epigenetic mechanisms regulating development and aging. Using a wide range of experimental systems, research teams are aiming to uncover how exposure to developmental and environmental stress leads to the accumulation of genome-wide epigenetic changes and whether these changes can eventually cause or exacerbate development of aging-associated diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. As a group, we are targeting molecular mechanisms of local and reversible genome-wide reprogramming, cellular heritability of epigenetic changes, fine-tuning of local gene activity that can be recruited for clinical applications. Understanding how chromatin proteins act during normal development and during pathogenesis to shape the chromatin landscape will allow us to develop methods to experimentally re-program genes and gene networks and to design new therapeutic regimens for treating human disorders.