The importance of DNA methylation in response to environmental changes (ARC Discovery Project administered by the University of New South Wales) (2015–2018)
This project aims to investigate the importance of DNA methylation, a process whereby gene expression can be
altered without changes in the DNA code, in regulating our responses to environmental challenges. This project
investigates this using well validated models of adult exposure to high fat diet or psychological stress in mice and
tissue-specific (liver and brain) deletion of the major methylation enzymes. It will compare functional, gene
expression and methylation status after such challenges in intact and methylase deleted animals to determine
how vital this process really is. This work has major implications for our understanding of epigenetics, and the
ways in which genes interact with the environment especially in times of change.