1. Project outline describing the scientific rationale of the project (max 4,000 characters incl. spaces and returns). DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that affects gene expression without altering gene sequences.
The epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is established by DNMT (DNA methyltransferase) enzymes and has been shown to correlate with transcriptional states and influence cell identity and tumorigenesis in mammalian cells.
Our genomic DNA is under constant attack from DNA damaging agents, which are a continuing threat to genomic integrity. Defective resolution of DNA damage underlies several human diseases, including haematopoietic abnormalities and developmental disorders as well as cancer.
The global epidemic of childhood obesity is a major public health issue. Although current adverse lifestyle (nutrition and physical inactivity) contributes to obesity, a growing body of evidence links early life nutritional adversity to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders in children.
This is one of several projects available on an MRC funded 4-year multi-disciplinary PhD programme in Human Genetics, Genomics and Disease at the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU), part of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh.