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NIEHS eFactor Features Susiarjo's Lecture

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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Imprinted genes and how their interactions with environmental chemicals can affect maternal and fetal health was the focus of a talk by Martha Susiarjo, Ph.D., from the University of Rochester. She spoke March 21 as part of the NIEHS Keystone Science Lecture Seminar Series.

Imprinted genes are those in which the copy from one parent is silenced through epigenetic modifications, which are changes to DNA that affect the function of genes but not the underlying DNA sequence.

“Although imprinted genes represent a small portion of the mammalian genome, they play a critical role during early development,” said Susiarjo. “We are working to understand how epigenetic markers mediate these effects and how gene-environment interactions can reprogram development of the fetus.”

Fred Tyson, Ph.D., a program director in the NIEHS Genes Environment and Health Branch, hosted the talk. “It was exciting to learn more about Susiarjo’s innovative work as an early-stage investigator,” said Tyson. “Her research is revealing new information about how epigenetic regulation of genes contributes to early development, and how environmental chemicals may alter this process.”

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