The genomics revolution has fundamentally reshaped our understanding of multiple facets of reproductive medicine. Indeed errors in the DNA blueprint or chromosome copy number can now be easily identified and associated pathology can be avoided. However, a greater appreciation for the impact that epigenetic marks (such as DNA methylation, histone modification, or microRNA post-transcriptional processing) have on the success of gene expression has recently emerged.
Researchers at IVIRMA Global are devising strategies to characterize the methylation profiles of gametes and preimplantation embryos with an eye towards identifying abnormalities that are associated with failed embryogenesis and implantation. In addition, ongoing projects are examining the predictive power of methylation levels in somatic cells in identifying early, subtle signs of reproductive aging.