Application No: 2007-032Chief Investigator: Dr Jeffrey Craig
Monitoring environmental influences on the establishment of the epigenetic landscape during pregnancy and implications for the health of children
We don't understand how chronic disease develops but evidence is mounting for an origin before birth. It's possible that that a fetus can be 'reprogrammed' in the womb by maternal diet, stress, etc, predisposing it to chronic disease later. A possible mechanism behind this is epigenetics, which involves molecules binding to our DNA and turning our genes on or off. Once identified, epigenetic marks can be changed by diet or drugs, opening up possible new avenues for prevention and therapy.