New study uses DNA methylation quantitative trait loci to characterize the relationship between methylomic variation, gene expression and complex traits

A new paper from our group published in the American Journal of Human Genetics highlights the utility of DNA methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs), for interpreting the functional consequences of common genetic variation associated with human traits. We describe the first comprehensive analysis of common genetic variation on DNA methylation using the Illumina EPIC array […]

Widespread H3K27ac differences associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the entorhinal cortex

Building on our previous work exploring DNA methylation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a new paper from our group just published in Nature Neuroscience has identified extensive differences in the histone modification H3K27ac associated with AD neuropathology. We quantified genome-wide patterns of H3K27ac in entorhinal cortex samples from AD cases and matched controls using chromatin immunoprecipitation […]

Exeter secures international autism research grant

A three year international research grant of $975,000 USD (almost £750,000) has been awarded to the University of Exeter for research by Professor Jonathan Mill into the genetics of autism. The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) awarded the grant to Mill, who heads the Complex Disease Epigenomics Group at the University of Exeter Medical […]

Major funding to explore genomic changes in dementia

Exeter researchers will join forces with global experts to investigate the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease, in a project announced on World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21). The Exeter team, led by Professor Jonathan Mill, has been awarded almost £450,000 by Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) to research the genomic mechanisms involved in progression of the disease. The […]

Twin study highlights importance of both genetics and environment on gene activity

New research highlights the extent to which epigenetic variation is influenced by both inherited and environmental factors. Epigenetic processes affect the expression or activity of genes without changing the underlying DNA sequence and are believed to be one mechanism by which the environment can interact with the genome. Now, an international group of researchers including […]

New MRC funding to study genomic changes in schizophrenia brain

The Medical Research Council has funded us to continue our research into the genomic underpinnings of schizophrenia. The project will use cutting-edge methods to profile gene regulation (DNA modifications, histone modifications, gene expression, alternative splicing) in purified neuronal nuclei isolated from a unique collection of post-mortem brain samples. Given the evidence for a neurodevelopmental component […]

New paper highlights how DNA hydroxymethylation in the human brain change during development.

Previous work from our group described dynamic changes in DNA methylation (5mC) occurring during human fetal brain development. Other epigenetic processes operating during this period have not been extensively explored – of particular interest is DNA hydroxymethylation (5hmC), a modification that we have found to be enriched in the human brain, and which is hypothesized […]

Schizophrenia-Associated Methylomic Variation

We have recently published a new study in Human Molecular Genetics which assesses variation in DNA methylation associated with schizophrenia and schizophrenia polygenic risk score in 262 post-mortem brain samples. We used tissue from four brain regions (prefrontal cortex, striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum) and identified multiple differentially methylated loci associated with schizophrenia and genetic risk.

Find out about our London to Paris Cycle Ride with the Alzheimer’s Society!

In July, two members of the Epigenetics Group, Jon Mill and Eilis Hannon, along with 4 other dementia researchers from the University of Exeter are taking part in the Alzheimer’s Society London to Paris Charity cycle ride.

2017 Software Sustainability Fellows announced

Last week the 2017 cohort of Software Sustainability Institute Fellows was announced and included Epigenetics group member Dr Eilis Hannon. 18 Fellowships were awarded, each of whom will receive £3000 to fund activities over the next 15 months in line with the goals of the organisation.

Upcoming Event: Exeter Neuroscience Research Seminar, 6 Sept 2016

Exeter Neuroscience Seminar Series 6 September, 2016 16:00 – 18:00 White Hart Inn, 66 South Street, Exeter, EX1 1EE  Mick Craig  – Using network oscillations to probe neural circuit function  Mick’s main interest is studying the cellular circuitry that enables different regions of the brain synchronise their activity over long distances, with a particular focus on […]

Olivia Knox

Student Success at Human Methylation Array Meeting

Friday the 3rd of June saw a group of students and post-docs from our group attend the 5th annual Human Methylation Array Meeting at King’s College London. PhD student Sarah Marzi was part of the organising committee of this popular meeting designed to bring together members of the scientific community all working with the same […]

Quantifying DNA hydroxymethylation in the human brain

A new paper from our group published in Genome Biology characterizes the distribution of DNA hydroxymethylation (5hmC) in two regions of the human brain. We used oxidative bisulfite (oxBS) treatment with the Illumina Infinium 450K BeadArray to quantify genome-wide patterns of 5hmC in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. Distinct patterns of 5hmC were identified in […]

Methylation QTLs (mQTLs) in the developing brain and their enrichment in schizophrenia-associated genomic regions

Our study looking at genetic influences on DNA methylation in the developing human brain was published online today in Nature Neuroscience. The study, led by Dr Eilis Hannon, identified >16,000 fetal brain mQTLs which were primarily cis-acting, enriched in regulatory chromatin domains and transcription factor binding sites, and showed substantial overlap with genetic variants that […]

ESRC and BBSRC grant for epigenetic research on early life experiences and long term health

Dr Chloe Wong has received funding and is the Principal Investigator for a project entitled ‘Epigenetic trajectories of biological response to adolescent psychosocial stress: A novel longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins.’ This is one of eight projects, funded by the ESRC and the BBSRC, which combines biological and social sciences to uncover the long […]

Long reads, single cells and cream teas

To celebrate the launch of our new Pacific Biosciences sequencer, funded by the MRC Clinical Research Infrastructure scheme, we’d like to invite you to a special one-day meeting. It will be held in at the RILD building in Exeter on the 1st September 2015. We have a great line-up of international speakers. Click here for […]

Alzheimer’s Society grant to integrate genetic and epigenetic findings

Katie Lunnon has led a successful application to the Alzheimer’s Society to fund a project building on our previous studies of DNA methylation in Alzheimer’s disease brain. The project will aim to combine data from multiple studies across the world, and integrate findings with genetic data on the same patients.

Twin birth cohort recruits its first participants

The first set of twins who will be part of the new Peninsula Pre/Perinatal Twins Research Bank (PTRB) have been born. The PTRB has been established to enable us to study how growth in the womb can influence health and disease across the life-course. For more information, go to the PTRB page.

Student led Alzheimer’s project grants get seal of approval.

Pilot research awards have been awarded to PhD researchers Matt and Adam respectively by the recently established Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Southwest Network. Both studies aim to improve our current understanding of the dynamic epigenetic landscape and its association with the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s pathology. Matt’s grant will focus on the expression of […]

GW4 accelerator award: Harnessing CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop new models of Alzheimer’s disease

In collaboration with Nick Allen at the University of Cardiff, Vasanta Subramanian at the University of Bath, and James Hodge and Caroline Relton at the University of Bristol we have been awarded a GW4 accelerator award to investigate the functional consequences of epigenetic changes previously identified in Alzheimer’s disease brain by our group. Together we […]

Pacific Biosciences sequencer delivered!

Our Pacific Biosciences RSII sequencer was delivered today. This was funded by a MRC Clinical Research Infrastructure Award. It was quite a big box! We can’t wait to get going on long-read sequencing and exploring the possibilities for human clinical genomics.

Our paper on DNA methylation trajectories across human brain development published in Genome Research

  Our study tracking changes in DNA methylation across human brain development has been published today in Genome Research. The study was led by PhD student Helen Spiers, and examined genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in 179 human fetal brain samples (100 male, 79 female) spanning 23 to 184 days post-conception. In addition, we have […]