Tedx Amsterdam at VondelCS

“Epigenetics makes us tick”

Dr. Pernette J. Verschure

Friday November 28th, 15.30-16.15
Location: Vondel CS

The epigenetic layer determines the way our genetic material functions providing identity to our cells. Epigenetics establishes how we behave and how we look. When we age our epigenetic layer changes, like a clock that runs out of time. We are interested in the dynamics of our epigenetic clocks. Can we predict the way our cells respond from the ticking of our own clocks? The challenge for the future is to understand the clock of each individual to achieve personalized clock treatments.

Dr. Pernette J. Verschure is Associate professor at the University of Amsterdam, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences. This year she has been awarded a European grant of 2.8 million euro for an interdisciplinary research project. The project focuses on epigenetic research into resistance to endocrine (hormonal) therapy in breast cancer. 'Based on epigenetic traits we want to predict and monitor resistance to endocrine therapy, and based on the epigenetics it might be possible to develop supplementary treatment plans.'

Recently, Verschure started to collaborate with the Dutch Forensic Institute to develop tools to use epigenetics as an age-predictor for forensic issues such as identification of unrecognizable victims from mass disasters or perpetrators of a crime, violent or sexual assaults.