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Cambridge Reproduction


My research focuses on the role of DNA methylation in regulating placental function and fetal development. The association of 5mC with regulating gene expression and developmental processes has been established in the CpG context, where the methylated cytosine is followed by a guanine. DNA methylation may also occur in a non-CpG context, where the addition of methyl group to a cytosine is followed by bases other than guanine, in a CHH and CHG context (where H = A, C or T). In recent years, whole genome bisulfite sequencing has confirmed significant levels on non-CpG methylation in specific tissues and cell types, including the placenta. However, the functional relevance of non-CpG methylation at in the placenta remains unknown. The aim for my PhD project is to characterise the distribution of placental non-CpG methylation, primarily through bioinformatics analyses of whole genome bisulfite sequencing, so as to elucidate the functional relevance of non-CpG methylation in the placenta.