Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX US
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas United States
- Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University
- 12/2003 - Durham, NC United States
- Developmental Genetics
- PhD from Cornell University
- 08/2000 - Ithaca, New York United States
- Human Nutrition
- BS from Virginia Tech
- 05/1987 - Blacksburg, Virginia United States
- Environmental influences on mammalian developmental epigenetics
Professional StatementResearch in the Waterland laboratory aims to understand how nutrition and other environmental influences during prenatal and early postnatal development affect individual susceptibility to various diseases later in life. We are focused on nutritional influences on developmental epigenetics as a likely mediating mechanism.
Epigenetic mechanisms are established during development to stably regulate tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. DNA methylation is of particular interest because mammalian one-carbon metabolism, which supplies the methyl groups for DNA methylation, is intimately dependent on dietary methyl donors and cofactors. We use various mouse models to investigate early nutritional influences on the developmental establishment of DNA methylation and associated phenotypes. We are also conducting human studies to identify persistent epigenetic changes associated with early nutritional exposures. We use genome-wide DNA methylation profiling, bioinformatic analysis, bisulfite pyrosequencing, and various gene expression assays.
Additionally, we are also investigating the role of epigenetic dysregulation in obesity. In particular, we are using mouse models to study whether maternal obesity and nutrition before and during pregnancy affect developmental epigenetics in the hypothalamus and, consequently, body weight regulation in her offspring.
- Leroy JL, Frongillo EA, Dewan P, Black MM, Waterland RA "Can children catch up from the consequences of undernourishment? Evidence from child linear growth, developmental epigenetics, and brain neurocognitive development." Adv Nutrition. 2020 Jul 3;11(4):1032-1041. Pubmed PMID: 32584399
- Scott CA*, Duryea JD*, MacKay H, Baker MS, Laritsky E, Coarfa C, Waterland RA "Identification of cell type-specific methylation signals in bulk whole-genome bisulfite sequencing data." Genome Biol. 2020 Jul 1;21(1):156.
- Li G, Petkova TD, Laritsky E, Kessler N, Baker MS, Zhu S, Waterland RA "Early postnatal overnutrition accelerates aging-associated epigenetic drift in pancreatic islets." Environ Epigenet. 2019 Aug 25;25(5(3)):dvz015. Pubmed PMID: 31528363
- Gunasekara CJ, Scott CA, Laritsky E, Baker MS, MacKay H, Duryea JD, Kessler NJ, Hellenthal H, Wood AC, Hodges KR, Gandhi M, Hair AB, Silver MJ, Moore SE, Prentice AM, Li Y, Chen R, Coarfa C, Waterland RA "A genomic atlas of systemic interindividual epigenetic variation in humans." Genome Biol. 2019 Jun 3;20:105. Pubmed PMID: 31155008
- MacKay H, Scott CA, Duryea JD, Baker MS, Laritsky E, Elson AE, Garland T, Fiorotto ML, Chen R, Li Y, Coarfa C, Simerly RB, Waterland RA "DNA methylation in AgRP neurons regulates voluntary exercise behavior." Nat Commun. 2019 Dec 2;10(1):5364. Pubmed PMID: 31792207
- Van Baak TE*, Coarfa C*, Dugué P-A, Fiorito G, Laritsky E, Kessler NJ, Dong J, Duryea JD, Chen J, Silver MJ, Saffari A, Prentice AM, Moore SE, ( … ) Vineis P, Severi G, Hopper JL, Southey MC, Giles GG, Milne RL, Waterland RA (*co-first authors) "Epigenetic supersimilarity of monozygotic twin pairs." Genome Biol. 2018 Jan 9;19(2)
- Kessler NJ, Waterland RA, Prentice AM, Silver MJ "Establishment of environmentally sensitive DNA methylation states in the very early human embryo." Sci Adv. 2018 Jul 11;4:eaat2624.
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