Ellen Jarred

Ellen Jarred

Degree

PhD student

Area of study

Epigenetics and Germ Cell Development

Year of enrolment

2018

Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?

I chose Hudson Institute and the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics laboratory because I found the work to be both interesting and unique. I had already worked with this lab for my Honours project and knew that it would be a supportive and encouraging environment in which to undertake my PhD.

What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?

Epigenetic modifications provide heritable information that influences the way that genes are expressed. Germ cells, which give rise to sperm and oocytes (eggs), transmit both genetic and epigenetic information to the next generation. Drugs which alter epigenetic modifications are currently being trialled for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. However little is known about how these drugs may affect developing germ cells, the heritability of epigenetic modifications and offspring health. Our research seeks to determine how epigenetic modifying drugs impact growing oocytes and whether these effects lead to consequences for offspring health.

How will your research help others?

We hope to enhance our understanding of the roles of epigenetic modifications in growing oocytes and to determine how epigenetic modifications and epigenetic modifying drugs impact on offspring health - this could improve our understanding of disease inheritance and assist in the refinement of guidelines for the use of these drugs in women of reproductive age.