Epigenetic modifications of complex disease over the human life course
Increasingly, studies have shown that the quality of early life environment, both before and after birth, can affect an individual’s susceptibility to metabolic disease in later life.
Epigenetic regulation of gene function is one mechanism through which early life environmental factors could impact on long-term human health outcomes. DNA methylation is the most commonly studied epigenetic modification in humans and can change the activity of a DNA segment, thereby regulating gene expression and affecting disease risk.
Our current research focuses on DNA methylation changes in pregnancy and in adolescence to identify epigenetic markers that may be associated with increased risk for susceptibility to chronic diseases in later life. Epigenetic markers are potentially modifiable, therefore the goal of this research is to identify potential biomarkers for increased precision for public health intervention.
This research is a collaboration between researchers at The University of Western Australia WA, Curtin University, Telethon Kids Institute, The Raine Study, the Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetic Consortium (PACE), and the European Union LifeCycle Project.
This research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
- NHMRC Project Grant 1059711 [2014-2018] “THE CYCLE OF OBESITY: Two generations of a pregnancy cohort to investigate obesity epigenetics”
- NHMRC Project Grant 1142858 [2017-2020] “LIFECYCLE – Early Life Stressors and LifeCycle Health”
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