Navigation Links
Research in cellular memory

How do fetal cells know what cell types to become? Why do cells in the adult body sometimes forget what they are and develop into cancer cells? These are some of the questions intensively investigated within the research field of epigenetics. Danish epigenetic research has a very strong position internationally and one of the players is Associate Professor Anja Groth from BRIC, University of Copenhagen. She has just received an ERC Starting Grant and has been selected for EMBO's prestigious Young Investigator Program (YIP).

"After the mapping of the human genome, it became clear that genes alone cannot explain the complexity of life. Genes need to be turned on or off in a specific order, to enable development of the 200 cell types in our body and to sustain their normal function throughout life. We have developed a new technology, which we can use to gain insight into how cellular memory is maintained when cells divide," says Anja Groth.

Special proteins called histones function as small building scaffolds, organising the DNA into a complex structure called chromatin. This structure can be open or closed, turning on or off selected genes. Every time a cell divides, the DNA is duplicated so that each daughter cell obtains an identical copy. Also, information on the histones and the chromatin structure needs to be copied, but this process is poorly understood. Research in the Groth laboratory focuses on how chromatin structure and information carried by small molecules on histones are duplicated and passed on during cell divisions. This is crucial for cellular memory and function, as it determines which genes are on or off.

"Losing cellular memory can be fatal. Mechanisms that establish and maintain chromatin structures are central for development of all cell types in our body and to maintain cellular function and prevent cancer later in life," says Anja Groth.

The research group's new technology facilitates investigations of how information carried by histones and chromatin structure is copied when cells divide.

"The technology provides us with a powerful tool to identify new molecular mechanisms important for cellular memory, which is the core of my ERC project," says Anja Groth.

Every year, the ERC awards a number of starting grants to young researchers who have shown excellence in their field of research and present a truly ambitious and visionary research project. Anja Groth has received an ERC starting grant of 12.5 million DKK. In addition, she has been selected for EMBO's prestigious Young Investigator Programme (YIP). EMBO is an organisation of leading life scientists that fosters new generations of researchers to produce world-class scientific results. YIP is used to promote the new talents and to allow members to create strong networks focusing on both science and career development.

"The ERC grant gives me a fantastic opportunity to focus on my research and kick-starts this ambitious project that can bring important new knowledge about epigentics and cellular memory. I am also very grateful to become a YIP member, as this will connect me with young top scientists in Europe and provide attractive courses for the students in my laboratory. This is also in line with my engagement in recruiting more young people into a scientific research career," says Anja Groth.

In this context, Anja Groth is engaged as a speaker in "Ungdommens Naturvidenskabelige Forening" (Danish youth organisation within natural sciences) and in the European initiative "TWIST - Towards women in science and technology". The aim of TWIST is to inspire more young people, especially women, to select a career within the natural sciences.

Contact: Associate Professor Anja Groth
University of Copenhagen

Related medicine news :

1. Embedded Mobile & M2M Device revenues to Rise to Almost $19 Billion Globally by 2014, Says Juniper Research
2. 2010 HSR Impact Award recognizes surgical safety research
3. MSU launches first anti-counterfeiting research program
4. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
7. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
8. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
9. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
10. International Diabetes Federation awards $2 million to 9 global diabetes research projects
11. Gladstones Robert Mahley to receive Research!America advocacy award
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Anik Singal's newly launched "Publish Academy" training course . Singal's new program, ... for enrollment today, and marketers around the Internet are weighing in with reviews. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra Health System, a prominent ... visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid deployment of EV™, an ... financial outcomes. , In less than four days, Centegra Hospitals McHenry ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, received ... 26. Berry, who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, Wyoming, ... in the United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are located ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... developed valuable new strategies for enrolling and serving insurance consumers who do not ... health insurance and pay monthly premiums. In “Health Plan Engagement Strategies: The ABCs ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Debbie Vereb has been named the organization’s Executive Vice President of Operations, and ... hired to key leadership roles in the company. , Debbie Vereb’s appointment to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)...  Yesterday Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) visited ... located in Holly Springs, NC . ... ® (Influenza Vaccine) using cell-culture technology, a state-of-the-art production ... is not reliant on chicken eggs. 1,2 On ... business of Novartis AG in the US, which for ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- XiMo AG ( Lucerne , ... Milpitas, California ) announced today the launch of ... of metathesis chemistry was highlighted by the Nobel Prize ... This industrially-relevant application has been utilized in the production ... and polymers. Georg Fráter , COO of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 13, 2015 the ... be operating in a non-clinical capacity. --> the ... be operating in a non-clinical capacity. --> The University ... completed installation of the first high field (1.5 Tesla) MRI-guided linear ... next year, the system will be operating in a non-clinical capacity. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: