about our research
"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution" -Theodosius Dobzhansky
Each one of us has a different likelihood to develop a disease, such as cancer, diabetes or Parkinson's. “It’s all in the genes” has been the assumption - until recently. We now know that the DNA sequence of an individual does not tell the whole story.
Epigenetic systems sense and mark changes at chromosomal loci. Our laboratory explores how developmental and environmental stimuli and stresses shape the “epigenome” – the epigenetic state of a cell. We are particularly interested in DNA base modifications. The conceptual framework of our research program is based on growing evidence that environmental factors influence some epigenetic programming during critical stages of early life — programming in early life affects the disease risk in adult life.
The questions are: When and how is epigenetic information established, maintained, removed, and influenced by developmental and environmental factors? How stable is epigenetic information? Does it change during ageing? How is epigenetic information transmitted to subsequent generations through the germ line? How does energy metabolism modulate the epigenome?
To address these questions we study different organisms, ranging from honey bees to human.