Karolinska Research Lectures: Wolf Reik
Karolinska Research Lectures at Nobel Forum: Wolf Reik. Head of the Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Title: "Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development” .
Epigenetic information in the mammalian genome is relatively stable in differentiated somatic cells in the adult body, but is reprogrammed on a genome-wide scale in germ cells and early embryos. Epigenetic reprogramming is conserved in all mammals and is tightly associated with the pluripotent state. It also limits the extent to which epigenetic information is inherited across generations (in contrast to plants which do not have large-scale epigenetic reprogramming in the germ line). In order to achieve pluripotency of stem cells it is probably important to erase pre-existing epigenetic memory. This memory is re-engaged when cells become primed for differentiation. We have recently proposed that epigenetic mechanisms can create diversity of transcriptional states, which helps with symmetry breaking during cell fate decisions and lineage commitment. We apply novel single cell methods in order to measure such epigenetic heterogeneity.
About Karolinska Research Lectures
In 1993 the Nobel Assembly and Karolinska Institutet initiated a lecture series named "Karolinska Research Lectures" which are held in the building Nobel Forum at Karolinska Institutet by specially invited, prominent international researchers. The overall concept is to present recent developments of general interest in areas of great relevance to biomedical research in a broad sense.