An ambitious EC-funded research initiative on epigenetics advancing towards systems biology 49

Bas Heijmans

Molecular Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Epigenetic signatures of genetic and environmental influences

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Our research focuses on the discovery of epigenetic signatures of genetic and environmental influences that affect cardiometabolic health in humans. To this end we perform genome-wide DNA methylation studies in twins, long-lived families and individuals who were exposed to the Dutch Famine at the end of WW2. In order to analyze these data, we are developing new methods to detect differential methylation that is both statistically robust and biologically insightful. Our longer term goal is to integrate epigenomics with other –omics data to gain insight in etiological pathways to human disease and ageing by tracing molecular changes through interconnected layers of biological information. We are participating in various consortia including www.ideal-ageing.eu and www.godmc.org.uk.

PhDs and postdoc involved in Epigenesys-related research

  • Elmar Tobi (postdoc)
  • Roderick Slieker (PhD student)
  • René Luijk (PhD student)