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Northern Communities Health Foundation Annual Lecture

Professor Randy Jirtle discusses epigenetic origins of human health.

Professor Randy Jirtle was the first to show that maternal environmental exposures can alter disease susceptibility in the offspring by modifying the epigenome.

These modifications result in heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence – a change in phenotype without a change in genotype. This means that environmental exposures to poor nutrition, toxic chemicals, and other kinds of stress can exert long-term effects on susceptibility to chronic diseases.

These changes in our epigenetic makeup can also be transferred through the gametes into the next generation, so environmental exposures at conception are critically important for the health of future generations.

You are invited to hear about Professor Jirtle's innovative research when he visits the University of Adelaide in May as a part of his visiting professorship with the Northern Communities Health Foundation.

About the speaker

Randy L. Jirtle is Professor of Epigenetics at the Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, and Senior Scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin.

Previously, he was Professor of Radiation Oncology and Associate Professor of Pathology at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, where he ran a science laboratory from 1977 to 2012. He received his Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering and Ph.D. in Radiation Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Jirtle’s research interests are epigenetics, genomic imprinting, and the fetal origins of disease susceptibility.

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