Epigenetics is the study of biochemical pathways that translate genetic codes without changing an individual’s underlying DNA. Unlike genetic mutations, which represent rare events with permanent consequences on genes, epigenetic changes are reversible and responsive to environmental influences. Epigenetic research not only provides tremendous opportunities to identify novel disease mechanisms, but may also decode epigenomic profiles that could serve as molecular archives of previous life experiences and predictors of an individual’s risks of future disease.

Experts at Columbia are using epigenetic techniques and advanced computational methods to determine the effects of environmental pollutants on health, particularly on a molecular level with epigenetic and molecular biomarkers.

Learn more about the Laboratory of Precision Environmental Health the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and Dr. Andrea Baccarelli’s large-scale epigenomic studies on environmental exposures.  Check out our work on experimental animal and in-vitro models in Drs. Diane Re and Brandon Pearson’s labs, the role of placenta biology in intergenerational inheritance in Dr. Maya Deyssenroth’s lab, and Dr. Daniel Belsky’s work on epigenetic aging.