Who we are is not merely determined by our genes, but also by the sum of innumerable environmental experiences. Many research efforts have focused on characterizing molecular mechanisms by which our bodies might encode the past.
Epigenetics represents one such mechanism, capable of establishing cell identity and memory. It is particularly relevant in the immune system where macrophages acquire molecular memories. The proposed PhD project will investigate epigenetic memory in microglia – the macrophages of the central nervous system. The proposed work will build on existing pilot data to generate a full characterization of novel mechanisms of epigenetic memory formation.
Ivashkiv, L.B., Trends Immunol, 2013. 34(5): p. 216-23.
Ostuni, R., et al., Cell, 2013. 152(1-2): p. 157-71.
Kaikkonen M.U., et al., Mol Cell, 2013. 51(3):310-25.
Butovsky, O., et al., J Clin Invest, 2012. 122(9): p. 3063-87.