Project Search

sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

An Epigenomic Data Coordination Centre for Canada

  • Project Leaders: Steven Jones
  • Institutions: Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Budget: $1478992
  • Program/Competition: Partner Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2012
  • Status: Closed

This national partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aims to support leading edge research on the role of DNA and environment interactions in human health and disease. Epigenetics is a field that investigates the heritable changes in genome function that occur without a corresponding change in DNA sequence. In contrast to the genome, which remains mostly the same throughout an individual’s life, the epigenome (i.e. modifications to the genome) changes during development and aging, in response to various external stimuli and as diseases emerge.

In addition to the genetic information that is stored in the order of the four bases that make up our DNA, modifications to the DNA itself, and the proteins that encapsulate it, also influence the function and behavior of our genetic material. Recent DNA sequencing techniques make it possible to identify and record such modifications. As the epigenome will be different between cells types and within tissues at varying stages of development, a large "atlas" of these modifications needs to be established. For these data to be most effective, we need a mechanism to store the results of these experiments and to disseminate this information to the scientific community. The Epigenomic Data Coordination Centre (EDCC) platform has provided such a repository allowing for easy data deposition and access, as well as analytical tools to further enhance the utility of the data.