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Your Environment. Your Health.

The Epigenome

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

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The Epigenome

September 16, 2013

Expert: Randy Jirtle, Ph.D.

If the genome is like a biological "hard drive," the epigenome is like a computer program that provides instructions for translating genetic information into action. Recent insights about how the epigenome affects our health are leading to a new way of thinking about environmental exposures.


Randy Jirtle, Ph.D.

Randy Jirtle, Ph.D. is a Professor of Epigenetics at the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK, and a Senior Scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Jirtle’s research interests are in epigenetics, genomic imprinting, and developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). He identified the first imprinted tumor suppressor gene, IGF2R, determined the evolutionary origins of genomic imprinting, and provided the first experimental evidence that DOHaD results from alterations in the epigenome. He was previously professor of radiation oncology and associate professor of pathology at Duke University.

For More Information

Environmental Epigenetics
Explore research projects funded by NIEHS that use state-of-the-art technologies to analyze epigenetic changes caused by environmental exposures.

NIH Common Fund Epigenomics Program
Find multimedia epigenomics resources, including tips and tools for integrating epigenomics into different areas of scientific investigation, at the website of this trans-NIH program co-led by NIEHS and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

NIEHS Gene-Environment Interaction Webpage
Learn what NIEHS is doing to advance knowledge of the complex interactions between an individual’s genetic make-up and environmental agents.

Engaging Epigenetics: A Tool for Stakeholder Education
Watch an animated overview of the concept of epigenetics, including ways to reduce your exposure to environmental chemicals that may affect the way genes are expressed, in this three-minute video created by the University of Washington's Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health and Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality.

Epigenetics: How Genes and Environment Interact
In this 1-hour videocast, Dr. Randy Jirtle discusses the science of epigenetics as part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

Epigenetics Basics
Watch videos, explore interactive learning tools, and download teacher resources and lesson plans at this website from the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center.

Randy Jirtle
Find information about our guest’s latest published research, including the study of ionizing radiation mentioned in the podcast.

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