Head, Laboratory of Developmental Genetics and Imprinting, Babraham Institute
Professor Wolf Reik FRS is the Head of the Laboratory of Developmental Genetics and Imprinting at the Babraham Institute. He is internationally distinguished for his fundamental discoveries of epigenetic mechanisms in mammalian development, physiology, genome reprogramming, and human diseases. His outstanding work led to the discovery of the molecular mechanism of genomic imprinting, and uncovered non-coding RNA and chromatin looping regulating imprinted genes, which he showed to be involved in fetal nutrition, growth, and disease.
He discovered epigenetic reprogramming, including active demethylation, and showed that it affects pluripotency and lineage commitment of embryonic stem cells. He found that the environment influences epigenetic programming in embryos, with changes in gene expression persisting in adults and their offspring.