Epigenomics: Opening up New Perspectives in Integrative Biology
  • Hwajin Lee
  • SLS Colloquia / 2017. 09. 14.(Thu), 04:00 pm / Room N104, Bldg 110
Epigenetics is traditionally referred to as functionally relevant modifications to the genome that are independent from nucleotide sequence variation itself, and possibly heritable through cell division. Although the initial era of epigenetics has been established based on the covalent modifications of DNA, mainly cytosine methylation, the definition of epigenetics has been widely evolved through multiple layers of research including historical findings in various epigenetics marks and genome-scale epigenetics study, namely epigenomics. So far, data from epigenomics revealed novel aspects of different biological processes such as stem cell differentiation, induced pluripotency from somatic cells, cancer initiation and progression, and characterization of common diseases at the genomic level. To facilitate the epigenomics research, government fundings ranging from NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Project to International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) were launched and funded for generating reference epigenomics data along with developing sophisticated methods for integrating and analyzing the data. As a next step forward after profiling epigenomics in multiple systems, one of the major subsets of epigenomics research currently focus on capturing evidences for possible causal relationships between genome-scale differences in epigenetic marks and cellular phenotypes. In addition, recent advances in single cell epigenomics technology will open up doors on evaluating and characterizing the extent of epigenomic stochasticity and its functional role at single-cell level. In the first part of the presentation, backgrounds on epigenetics and epigenomics including the definitions, history and seminal discoveries on these research areas will be introduced along with the presenter’s past research finding. In the second part, importance of assessing causality linked to some of the

recent technological improvements in epigenomics research will be discussed with presenter’s recent research findings and current research.