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Last update: May 2021

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Human Nutrition Unit

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Dr Céline Jousse

Céline Jousse's profile

Field of research

Metabolic diseases have multiple origins ranging from genetic and environmental factors. A key feature characteristic of these diseases is that transient environmental influences such as a nutritional stress during perinatal life may induce deleterious heritable health effects that may last for the entire life of individual. This "nutritional programming" has also been reported in animals but the molecular mechanisms involved are not understood. Since the consequences of the events occurring in early life are maintained throughout life, epigenetic modifications are likely to play an important role in this process. Among these modifications, DNA methylation is the best-studied and has been shown to be affected by various environmental stimuli.

Research activities

In that context, the aim of this proposal is to identify epigenetic biomarkers that may be used to identify at risk population in human and signaling pathways affected by epigenetic regulation; these pathways could be considered as potential drug target. The most efficient way to identify such biomarkers is to rely on animal models in which we have developed a particular strategy leading to the identification of specific markers. Three main questions will be addressed in this project: (i) Identification of key specific epigenetic marks (methylation) correlated with the onset of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity, using a pertinent mice model. (ii) Identification of orthologous regions in human using bioinformatics tools and samples from appropriate cohorts to provide predictive and diagnostic markers (iii) identification of genes networks that may be affected by the epigenetic marks and that may constitute good candidate drug targets.

Ultimately our results may open the way to prevention and development of novel treatments associated with the epigenotype/genotype of patient leading to an efficient personalized medicine in this field and will ameliorate the quality of life at the general population level.