Dr. John Greally is Chief of the Division for Computational Genetics in the Department of Genetics and Director of the Center for Epigenomics.
Dr. Greally’s research focuses on how the epigenome is altered in cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and aging, and as a response to diet and other influences. He has been invited to the NIA workshop (July 2008) on epigenetics and aging, and is mentoring in a current MD PhD trainee. Major projects are centered on the discovery of DNA sequence characteristics that discriminate genes undergoing genomic imprinting, and using these to find new imprinted genes that are candidates for causing human disease. A recent avenue of study involves delving into cytosine methylation patterns in large regions of the genome (to learn the rules of normal epigenetic gene regulation through cytosine methylation) thereby creating the foundation for understanding how such regulation is disrupted in disease (Genome Res. 2006).
Dr. Greally’s current and future research efforts involve the following:
- Epigenetic changes associated with early development and age-related diseases such as T2DM. A model of intrauterine ligation in animals leading to diabetes at early age has been investigated and orally presented by his mentee at the American Diabetes Association meeting (2007). Progress in an additional project utilizes blood cells obtained form intrauterine growth retarded babies to test the hypothesis in humans.
- Epigenetic changes associated with aging are tested in young and old ad libitum fed or caloric restricted rats. For the next step, this will be tested in lymphocytes obtained by Dr. Barzilai’ cohort of centenarians and unrelated younger subjects.