Research Fellows Directory
Dr Jiang Liu
University College London
Our group is trying to integrate genomics method to understand some fundamental questions in epigenetic inheritance, animal development and cancer pathogenesis.
It is a mystery how a fertilized egg can develop into an animal, which can include more than 200 different cells with different phenotype and functions. Recent studies show the epigenetic information can define animal’s development. One long standing challenge in biology is whether epigenetic information can be inherited by the offspring from parents. Our lab used zebrafish as the model to study the DNA methylation inheritance. Strikingly, we found that Sperm DNA methylome is inherited by early embryos, while oocyte methylome is discarded (Cell , 2013). This finding indicates not only DNA sequences can be inherited, but also DNA methylome of sperm can be inherited by zebrafish embryos. Recently, we also revealed the programming and inheritance of parental DNA methylomes in mammals (Cell, 2014).
Now, we are investigating the mechanism how embryos select sperm methylome and discard oocyte methylome. We will also study the function of DNA methylome in guiding embryogenesis.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)