University of Zürich and ETH Zürich
Molecular Neuroscience and Neurogenetics
Title of talk:
The purpose of Isabelle Mansuy’s research is to study the epigenetic basis of complex brain functions, in particular, the mechanisms that underlie the heritability of traits induced by environmental exposure in mammals. The unconventional principle of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is fundamental to biology and evolution, but its molecular basis is still poorly understood. Isabelle Mansuy’s research demonstrated that the effects of trauma exposure in early life can be transmitted across several generations and that the mechanisms of inheritance depend on epigenetic factors involving DNA methylation and RNAs in germ cells. These findings have provided an important epigenetic model of germline-dependent inheritance of environmentally-induced traits and strengthened the paradigm shift underway about heredity.