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Scientific evidence clearly indicates that ageing and health in adult life is programmed by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms early in life.
Developmental plasticity in response to the environment, including nutrient availability, of mammalian embryos indicates the capacity for
newly emerging embryonic and extraembryonic cell lineages to initiate compensatory responses which may attune nutrient delivery to the
needs of the developing fetus. EpiHealth will focus on these early events in several relevant models(diabetes, obesity and assisted
reproductive technologies (ART)),using human samples, stem cell lines, animal models and data mining/bioinformatics tools to decipher
some of the most important pathways and to offer options for early intervention to avoid adverse health effects. Main goal of the project is
to improve health of the human population by understanding the mechanisms and pathways in early development, with special emphasis
on epigenetic changes and developmentally relevant metabolic signalling, which create biological variation and have a long term effect on
the health of individuals across the lifespan. Specific goals include: i)Identification of the main genetic pathways affecting the health of the
developing embryos in a diabetic or obese maternal environment; ii) Identification of the main genetic and metabolic pathways affected and
epigenomic and imprinting perturbations from mouse and human ART resulting in altered health of the progeny; iii)Discovery of the key
genes and pathways affecting epigenetic and imprinting sensitivity in early stages of development in order to create intervention tools
against epigenetic mis-programming; iv)Linking for the first time by bioinformatics tools the longevity related pathways and those
susceptible to early epigenetic perturbations in order to explain how early events influence the health and lifespan of individuals; v)Studying
the possibilities of early intervention by controlling the maternal environment.

Call for proposal

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Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Marta De Ruijter-Villani (Dr.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (8)