One of the great mysteries in biology is how the many different cell types that make up our bodies are derived from a single cell and from one DNA sequence, or genome. We have learned a lot from studying the human genome, but have only partially unveiled the processes underlying cell determination. The identity of each cell type is largely defined by an instructive layer of molecular annotations on top of the genome – the epigenome – which acts as a blueprint unique to each cell type and developmental stage.
The McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre will receive generous support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Génome Québec to continue its trailblazing research in the field of epigenetics. The support announced today by the funding partners will go toward examining how environmental factors can alter the expression of our DNA and have life-long effects on human health.