Karolinska Research Lectures – Wolf Reik

//Karolinska Research Lectures – Wolf Reik

Wolf Reik
Title:“Epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development”
Head of the Epigenetics Programme, The Babraham Institute Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Date:October 16, Thursday, 16.15
Location:Nobel Forum
Host: Nancy Pedersen and Catarina Almqvist Malmros
Contact:Tatiana Goriatcheva, Nobelkansliet, Nobel Forum, tel:+46-8-52487805,


Epigenetic information in the mammalian genome is relatively stable in differentiated somatic cells in the adult body, but is reprogrammed on a genome-wide scale in germ cells and early embryos. Epigenetic reprogramming is conserved in all mammals and is tightly associated with the pluripotent state. It also limits the extent to which epigenetic information is inherited across generations (in contrast to plants which do not have large-scale epigenetic reprogramming in the germ line). In order to achieve pluripotency of stem cells it is probably important to erase pre-existing epigenetic memory. This memory is re-engaged when cells become primed for differentiation. We have recently proposed that epigenetic mechanisms can create diversity of transcriptional states, which helps with symmetry breaking during cell fate decisions and lineage commitment. We apply novel single cell methods in order to measure such epigenetic heterogeneity.