***Registration has closed for in-person viewing in the Coach House. However, the lecture can be viewed via livestream.***
LIVESTREAM LINK: Click HERE to view the livestream. Or, copy and paste this link to your internet browser: https://mediasite.audiovisual.ubc.ca/Mediasite/Play/64e57980d9a04609a8080ae8439f2c071d
It is well established that the social and physical environment early in life has long-term impact on our physical and mental health and behaviour later in life. What are the mechanisms that mediate the effects of the early environment on our health? Are these effects reversible later in life? The genetic information in DNA that we inherit from our ancestors is programmed by another layer of machinery; the epigenome. The epigenome is established during gestation but is highly attentive to cues from the internal and external environment early in life and thus serves as an interface between our static genome and the dynamic environment. We will discuss data from animal models and humans supporting the hypothesis that early-life social environment leaves its marks in our epigenome and affects stress, health and mental health later in life, creating a molecular link between nurture and nature. Although the epigenetic marks made in our genome in response to experience are extremely stable, they are also potentially reversible by epigenetic therapy, pointing to the prospect of epigenetic therapeutics in mental health.