The activity of our genes is determined by more than just the sequence of DNA. Epigenetic marks are reversible chemical modifications to our DNA or chromatin that alter the activity of the genes upon which they sit.
The sum of epigenetic marks in a tissue is known as the epigenome. These modifications play important roles in defining different cell types in the body and can be influenced by environmental and nutritional factors.
It is known that epigenetic marks decline during the ageing process.The primary goals of the immune system are to protect the body against invading pathogens and prevent subsequent infection. This powerful system must be carefully balanced to ensure that it does not destroy the body it has evolved to protect.
Lymphocytes are white blood cells important for protecting the body from disease by stimulating immune responses and retaining a memory of prior infections.
We aim to understand the processes that regulate the development, survival and function of these cells.We study the proteins that control communication within and between cells. They make up the signaling pathways that regulate how cells develop and respond to their environment, and are critical for ensuring the lifelong health and well being of an individual.
A common theme in all pathways is that key information is carried into the cell by molecules called lipids, which interact with various enzymes, each regulating different pathways.
A major focus of our research is the activity of the PI3Kinase enzymes, critical for a number of cellular functions, including movement, growth and survival.