The role of epigenetics in genetic and environmental epidemiology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Epidemiology is the branch of science that investigates the causes and distribution of disease in populations in order to provide preventative measures and promote human health. The fields of genetic and environmental epidemiology primarily seek to identify genetic and environmental risk factors for disease, respectively. Epigenetics is emerging as an important piece of molecular data to include in these studies because it can provide mechanistic insights into genetic and environmental risk factors for disease, identify potential intervention targets, provide biomarkers of exposure, illuminate gene-environment interactions and help localize disease-relevant genomic regions. Here, we describe the importance of including epigenetics in genetic and environmental epidemiology studies, provide a conceptual framework when considering epigenetic data in population-based studies and touch upon the many challenges that lie ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-283
Number of pages13
JournalEpigenomics
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2016

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Keywords

  • environmental epidemiology
  • epidemiology
  • epigenomics
  • genetic epidemiology
  • genomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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