CSIR-CCMB Collaborates on Global Epigenomics Study to Uncover Genetics

  • 14 Oct 2023

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is joining forces with 20 research groups worldwide for a groundbreaking integrated genomics and epigenomics study aimed at unraveling the genetic factors contributing to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) across diverse populations, including South Asians.

Key Points

  • The DEEP Project: The "Diverse Epigenetic Epidemiology Partnership (DEEP)" project seeks to understand how genomic and environmental diversity influences disease risk, particularly in populations across Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.
  • Gene-Environment Interaction: DEEP provides a unique opportunity for scientists with diverse expertise to explore the interplay between genetics and environmental factors, shedding light on their roles in influencing intermediate traits associated with NCDs or the diseases themselves.
  • Global Variation in NCDs: The prevalence of NCDs like diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and mental health conditions is increasing worldwide, with significant variations in disease onset and symptoms observed among different regions.
  • Traditional population health research has primarily focused on data from white European populations, leaving many global communities underrepresented in health studies.
  • Importance of Genetic Diversity: Genomic research databases require diversity to gain a comprehensive understanding of factors affecting gene regulation and, consequently, differences in disease risk. Ensuring representation from diverse populations is essential for studying the genetic basis of NCDs.
  • DNA Methylation and Epigenetics: DNA methylation (DNAm), a type of epigenetic modification, helps the body respond to environmental cues and contributes to overall health and disease status.
  • Understanding the relationships between DNAm, genetics, and the environment is crucial for deciphering the pathways to health, disease, and their consequences.
  • Global Insights and Targeted Interventions: The study's goal is to identify shared global disease-causing mechanisms and those unique to specific groups or regions.
  • It will help answer questions about the effectiveness of medicines developed in one part of the world in treating diverse populations.
  • Ultimately, DEEP aims to enable targeted interventions and reduce global health disparities and inequities.