DEEP contributes to major coordinated paper release by International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC)

DEEP scientists release four manuscripts as part of a collection of 41 papers published in Cell, Cell Press-associated and other high-impact journals

One of the great mysteries in biology is how the many different cell types that make up our bodies are derived from a single cell and from one DNA sequence, or genome. We have learned a lot from studying the human genome, but have only partially unveiled the processes underlying cell determination. The identity of each cell type is largely defined by an instructive layer of molecular annotations on top of the genome – the epigenome – which acts as a blueprint unique to each cell type and developmental stage. Unlike the genome the epigenome changes as cells develop and in response to changes in the environment. Defects in the factors that read, write and erase the epigenetic blueprint are involved in many diseases. The comprehensive analysis of the epigenomes of healthy and abnormal cells will facilitate new ways to diagnose and treat various diseases, and ultimately lead to improved health outcomes.

A collection of 41 coordinated papers recently published by scientists from across the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) sheds light on these processes, taking global research in the field of epigenomics a major step forward. A set of 24 manuscripts has been released as a package in Cell and Cell Press-associated journals, and an additional 17 papers have been published in other high-impact journals. These papers represent the most recent work of IHEC member projects from Canada, the European Union, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the United States. The collection of publications showcases the achievements and scientific progress made by IHEC in core areas of current epigenetic investigations.

The German Epigenome Programme “DEEP” contributed four manuscripts to the collection. The papers were published in the renowned journals Immunity, Nature Communications, Epigenetics & Chromatin und Nucleic Acids Research.

“The scientific excellence and medical significance of this set of joint publications underlines the strength and efficiency that comes from interdisciplinary international research. We as DEEP are proud to participate in shaping such groundbreaking research”, said Prof. Jörn Walter, coordinator of DEEP and co-chair of the International Scientific Steering Committee of IHEC.

Further links:

Read the full DEEP press release in German here.

Read the full IHEC press release here.