From promises to practical strategies in epigenetic epidemiology

Jonathan Mill*, Bastiaan T. Heijmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

270 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The epigenome has been heralded as a key 'missing piece' of the aetiological puzzle for complex phenotypes across the biomedical sciences. The standard research approaches developed for genetic epidemiology, however, are not necessarily appropriate for epigenetic studies of common disease. Here, we discuss the optimal execution of population-based studies of epigenetic variation, which will contribute to the emerging field of 'epigenetic epidemiology' and emphasize the importance of establishing a causal role in pathology for disease-associated epigenetic changes. We propose that improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human health and disease are best achieved through carrying out studies of epigenetics in populations as a part of an integrated functional genomics strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
JournalNATURE REVIEWS GENETICS
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • DIFFERENTIALLY METHYLATED REGIONS
  • MONOZYGOTIC TWINS DISCORDANT
  • EPIGENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION
  • PROMOTER DNA METHYLATION
  • GENE-EXPRESSION
  • HUMAN GENOME
  • DEVELOPMENTAL ORIGINS
  • PRENATAL EXPOSURE
  • COMPLEX DISEASE
  • COHORT PROFILE

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