An individual's genetic sequence or code is relatively fixed from conception, however how this code is read is able to change. Methylation, the addition of small molecules to the DNA, alters how the genetic code is read by the cell. The methyl groups act as a cover on-top of the DNA, stopping it from being read and altering the amount of specific proteins made in the cells. This is also known as the 'silencing' of a gene.


Methylation is a normal process, and its presence is responsible for a degree of individuality in physical appearance. Methylation can also be involved in the development of some diseases and cancers. It is thought that this methylation can occur as a response to poor conditions during development before birth, or later in life a result of exposure to some chemicals or infections.


The Raine Study Epigenetic research group is investigating the effects of epigenetic modification on adolescent body mass and markers of cardiometabolic health including cholesterol, insulin resistance and blood pressure. Obesity is a significant adult health problem, and is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents.


Research Team

A/Professor Rae-Chi Huang MBBS, PhD

A/Professor Craig Pennell MBBS PhD FRANZCOG

Professor Lawrie Beilin AO MBBS, MD, FRCP, FRACP

Professor Trevor Mori PhD

Mrs Blagica Penova-Veselinovic BSc

A/Professor Sally Burrows BMATH


Dr Jeffrey Craig PhD

Murdoch Children Research Institute, Melbourne


Dr Allen (Gregg) Harbaugh MA, PhD

Murdoch University, WA


A/ Professor Karen A Lillycrop PhD

A/ Professor Graham C Burdge  PhD

Professor Keith Godfrey BM, PhD, FRCP

Southampton University


Dr Joanna Holbrook BSc, PhD

Dr Pang Hong

Singapore Institutes for Clinic Sciences




  • 2014-2016, NHMRC 1059711, RC Huang, K Lillycrop, G Burdge, J Craig, L Beilin, T Mori, W Oddy, K Godfrey, J Holbrook, The cycle of obesity, A two generation population study of obesity epigenetics, $1,086,102.
  •   2013-2014, UWA research collaboration award, , RC Huang, G Burdge, V Jaddoe, W Oddy, E Davis, Early life programming of childhood obesity, $15,000.
  •   2012, PMH Foundation Seeding Grant, RC Huang, Epigenomics of Obesity, $19,996.





A/Prof Rae Chi Huang

 MG 3432