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Your Environment. Your Health.

Environmental Epigenetics

Epigenetic changes modify the way genetic information is expressed without directly changing the genetic code stored in DNA. Although some epigenetic changes are part of normal development and aging, environmental health scientists are concerned that environmental factors may cause epigenetic changes that lead to health problems.

Epigenetic changes likely play an important role in development and are thought to be involved in a wide range of diseases and disorders, including autoimmune and neurodevelopmental disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

What Is NIEHS Doing?

Scientists funded through NIEHS work to better understand the link between environmental exposures and epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and how these interactions may affect human health and disease. Using emerging technologies, they analyze epigenetic changes caused by exposure to metals; air pollution; tobacco smoke; endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as bisphenol A, tributyltin, pesticides, and phthalates; and other contaminants. Researchers use animals, cell cultures, human tissue samples, and population-based studies to pinpoint how epigenetic changes might lead to harmful health effects that could be passed to future generations.

NIEHS-funded environmental epigenetics research could enhance our understanding of how environmental factors influence human health and change how we diagnose and treat disease.

Currently Funded Programs

For additional information on what NIEHS epigenetics grantees are doing, visit our Who We Fund webpage.

Learn more about epigenetics in the NIEHS Health and Education portal.

Program Contacts

Program Lead for TaRGET, Animal, Basic, and Mechanistic Research

Frederick L. Tyson
Fred Tyson, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3334
Fax 919-564-5064
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-15
Durham, N.C. 27709

Program Lead for Gene-environment Interactions and Population-based Research

Kimberly A. McAllister, Ph.D.
Kimberly McAllister, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3287
Fax 919-316-4606
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-12
Durham, N.C. 27709

Program Lead for Population-based Research

Bonnie R. Joubert, Ph.D.
Bonnie R. Joubert, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3276
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-12
Durham, N.C. 27709

Program Lead for Preconception and Transgenerational Inheritance Studies

Thaddeus Schug, Ph.D.
Thaddeus T. Schug, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3319
530 Davis Dr
530 Davis Drive (Keystone Bldg)
Durham, NC 27713
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