Blizard Institute

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Rakyan Lab

The overall goals of the lab are to understand the molecular basis of the non-genetically determined component of mammalian phenotypes and diseases. Within this context, we are particularly interested in ‘epialleles' – loci at which the epigenetic state varies as a result of stochastic, genetic and/or environmental influences. We pursue several complementary lines of investigation that integrate molecular genomics, computational biology, mouse models, and human cohorts to understand the role of epialleles in complex phenotypes and diseases, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, and environmental epigenomics.


Beyan H, Down T, Ramagopalan S, Uvebrant K, Nilsson A, Holland M, Gemma C, Giovannoni G, Boehm B, Ebers G, Lernmark A, Cillio C, Leslie D, Rakyan VK. (2012) Guthrie card methylomics identifies temporally stable epialleles that are present at birth in humans. Genome Res. 2012 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Rakyan VK, Down TA, Balding DJ, Beck S. Epigenome-wide association studies for common human diseases. Nat Rev Genet. 2011 Jul 12;12(8):529-41.

Rakyan VK, Down TA, Maslau S, Andrew T, Yang TP, Beyan H, Whittaker P, McCann OT, Finer S, Valdes AM, Leslie RD, Deloukas P, Spector TD. Human aging-associated DNA hypermethylation occurs preferentially at bivalent chromatin domains. Genome Res. 2010 Apr;20(4):434-9.

Group Members

Dr Michelle Holland (Postdoc)
Amy Danson (PhD student)
Amina Daou (undergraduate)


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