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.
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
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.