Company: Newcastle University
Job title: Professor of Epigenetics
I am interested in delineating epigenetic signalling pathways that trigger fibrogenesis and in doing so, discovering molecular control of fibrogenesis and associated signalling pathways that can be targeted with new as well as existing drugs. More recently we have also embarked on studies that test the ability of environmental factors to affect transgenerational inheritance of predisposition to liver fibrosis. Adaptation to environmental insults is critical for ensuring fitness and survival of the species, however it is currently not clear if predisposition to development of fibrosis exists or indeed if existence of disease in previous generations alters such predisposition.
We have published the first report of the transgenerational epigenetic transmission of protection against liver fibrosis which provides evidence of heritable mechanisms for the rapid adaptation of animals to environmental insults. The lab is now carrying out further characterisation of this newly reported phenomena and its impact on liver disease of various aetiology.