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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Wolf Reik 2017Professor Wolf Reik

Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development

Laboratory Location: Babraham Institute




Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone marks are often relatively stable in differentiated and in adult tissues in the body, where they help to confer a stable cell identity on tissues. The process of epigenetic reprogramming, by which many of these marks are removed from DNA, is important for the function of embryonic stem cells and in reprogramming stem cells from adult tissue cells. When this erasure goes wrong there may be adverse consequences for healthy development and ageing, which can potentially extend over more than one generation. 

Our insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming may help with developing better strategies for stem cell therapies and to combat age related decline. We have also recently initiated work on epigenetic regulation of social behaviours in insects, where we are interested in how patterning and regulation of DNA methylation in the brain is linked with the evolution of sociality.


External links


CSCI collaborators

Bertie Göttgens 

Jenny Nichols 

Ludovic Vallier