Exploring Genetics and Epigenetics to Understand Medical Conditions

A professor and director at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Jef Boeke, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the biomedical field. In 2014, he will be joining NYU Langone Medical Center, one of the nation’s most respected centers for medical healthcare and medical research. Jef Boeke will head the center’s newest research facility, the Institute for Systems Genetics.

The newly formed institute’s research program will focus on four overlapping areas of study: Omics technologies, human genetics, biomedical engineering, and computational sciences. It will leverage existing outstanding facilities of the medical center and use the latest technologies to tackle questions in genetics and epigenetics.

While genetics dictates an individual’s traits like physical attributes and risk for medical conditions, epigenetics is a relatively newer field of study that explores how variables like diet and exposure to toxins could subtly alter the DNA. Scientific research on this field could offer explanations – and subsequently even cure – to medical conditions that genetics alone could not address.


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