- Role: Visiting FellowGroup: Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics
Dr Youngson has researched epigenetics for 20 years. His PhD at Cambridge University studied the role of gamete-borne DNA methylation in regulation of offspring development. The transgenerational theme continued as a postdoc at QIMR in Brisbane, where he investigated whether abnormal epigenetic state in gametes could cause developmental disorders in offspring. His second postdoctoral position at UNSW, Sydney progressed to exploring how metabolic dysfunction in obesity can influence diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. He continued this work with a focus in liver disease in 2019 when he established his own group at the Institute of Hepatology, London. His work there involved, firstly, understanding the role of diet-induced epigenomic dysregulation in liver disease and its associated cancers (NAFLD, ArLD, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma). Secondly, his group evaluated whether DNA methylation levels in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) be used as a biomarker to stratify liver disease patients. He has an Honorary Appointment with the Centre for Reproductive Health to continue his work on epigenetic dysregulation in the liver and germ line.