Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Wolf Reik

Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone marks are often relatively stable in differentiated and in adult tissues in the body, where they help to confer a stable cell identity on tissues. The process of epigenetic reprogramming, by which many of these marks are removed from DNA, is important for the function of embryonic stem cells and in reprogramming stem cells from adult tissue cells. When this erasure goes wrong there may be adverse consequences for healthy development and ageing, which can potentially extend over more than one generation.

​Our insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming may help with developing better strategies for stem cell therapies and to combat age related decline. We have also recently initiated work on epigenetic regulation of social behaviours in insects, where we are interested in how patterning and regulation of DNA methylation in the brain is linked with the evolution of sociality.

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Latest Publications

Single-cell epigenomics: powerful new methods for understanding gene regulation and cell identity.

Clark SJ, Lee HJ, Smallwood SA

Genome biology
17 1474-760X:72 (2016)

PMID: 27091476

Naive Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived Directly from Isolated Cells of the Human Inner Cell Mass.

Guo G, von Meyenn F, Santos F

Stem cell reports
2213-6711: (2016)

PMID: 26947977

Maternal DNA Methylation Regulates Early Trophoblast Development.

Branco MR, King M, Perez-Garcia V

Developmental cell
36 1878-1551:152-63 (2016)

PMID: 26812015

Parallel single-cell sequencing links transcriptional and epigenetic heterogeneity.

Angermueller C, Clark SJ, Lee HJ

Nature methods
1548-7105: (2016)

PMID: 26752769

Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

Patalano S, Vlasova A, Wyatt C

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
1091-6490: (2015)

PMID: 26483466

5-Formylcytosine can be a stable DNA modification in mammals.

Bachman M, Uribe-Lewis S, Yang X

Nature chemical biology
11 1552-4469:555-7 (2015)

PMID: 26098680

Forget the Parents: Epigenetic Reprogramming in Human Germ Cells.

von Meyenn F, Reik W

161 1097-4172:1248-51 (2015)

PMID: 26046435

Prmt5: a guardian of the germline protects future generations.

Berrens RV, Reik W

The EMBO journal
34 1460-2075:689-90 (2015)

PMID: 25687507

Global Reorganization of the Nuclear Landscape in Senescent Cells.

Chandra T, Ewels PA, Schoenfelder S

Cell reports
2211-1247: (2015)

PMID: 25640177

Selective impairment of methylation maintenance is the major cause of DNA methylation reprogramming in the early embryo.

Arand J, Wossidlo M, Lepikhov K

Epigenetics & chromatin
8 1756-8935:1 (2015)

PMID: 25621012

Redundant mechanisms to form silent chromatin at pericentromeric regions rely on BEND3 and DNA methylation.

Saksouk N, Barth TK, Ziegler-Birling C

Molecular cell
56 1097-4164:580-94 (2014)

PMID: 25457167