Advancing Epigenetics Towards Systems Biology

What we have achieved

EpiGeneSys—Advancing Epigenetics Towards Systems Biology

EpiGeneSys was active as an FP7 European Community-funded Network of Excellence from October 2010 – March 2016, with the aim of building a bridge between two areas of European excellence, epigenetics and systems biology. The network has established a framework to catalyse interdisciplinary exchanges and training, as well as to foster the sharing of tools, resources and knowledge. Extensive collaboration with other European and international initiatives further nurtured the network’s mission, thereby ensuring the dissemination of a new culture joining epigenetics and systems biology across Europe.

EpiGeneSys has advanced research by drawing together epigeneticists and systems biologists by focusing on several scientific questions:

  • How does dynamic binding of regulators enable both stability and flexibility of chromatin states?
  • How can we predict epigenetic states from the DNA sequence?
  • How does the extracellular milieu shape the epigenome?
  • How can we analyse and model data coming from diverse fields and using disparate data types?
EpiGeneSys’s goals went further than simply being a research project.
An extensive training program helped build a bridge between the fields of epigenetics and systems biology, RISE1 (Research Integrating Epigenetics and Systems Biology), a career development programme for young PIs, integrated 20 junior group leaders into the network and our public education mission communicated the science in an accessible and engaging fashion, seeking to reach people who had not come into contact with epigenetics and systems biology before.

Although the period as an EC-funded initiative has ended, it remains an ongoing network goal to support sustainable interactions between epigeneticists and systems biologists that would not have been possible without EpiGeneSys. The network has promoted new scientific actions by providing stimuli to members to apply to project calls and has already planned EpiGeneSys meetings for the future to ensure the long term impact of its activities.