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Epigenetics

Epigenetics is the process by which modifications to DNA and other parts of the biological system, which do not result in alterations to the underlying DNA sequence, can lead to inheritable change in living systems.  These changes lead to differences in how the underlying DNA code is ‘read’  by the cellular machinery, and is important in the establishment of specialized / differentiated cellular functions.  It is also important in other types of genetic disease and in cancer, and has newly identified roles in the regulation of gene expression in bacteria.

Projects 

  • EFACTS - research supporting the study, and in the longer term treatment, of the rare inherited neurological disease, Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA). 4-year €6M EU (FP7) collaborative health research project with 14 other partners.  Investigators: Mark Pook, David Gilbert, Xiaohui Liu and Annette Payne.
  • "Predicting chromatin status using differential expression profiles", PhD Student: Mohsina Ferdous; PhD Supervisors: Xiaohui Liu, David Gilbert and Paul Wilson (GSK).
  • The role of methylation in the coordination of gene expression in bacterial systems, and the integration of programmed and phase variable regulation.
  • Computational epigenetics – the analysis of epigenetic data in order to model, analyse and predict the effect of such modifications, with a focus on disease systems.