Epimac


Epigenetic marks on the DNA are critical in regulating gene expression, and allow cells to differentiate and respond to environmental stimuli. The importance of these epigenetic marks in inflammation and cancer is evident, and molecules have been newly developed to intervene with these marks (Nicodeme et al, Nature 2011; Kruidenier et al, Nature 2012; Ntziachristos et al, Nature 2014). Such compounds turn out to have extremely anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages, dendritic cells and monocytes, as well as in their target cells (Nicodeme et al, Nature 2010; Kruidenier et al, Nature 2012).

In this project we aim to establish the repertoire of epigenetic marks in inflammatory cells, identify the epigenetic landscape in inflammatory cells of the inflamed colon mucosa and intervene with these marks to reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic inflammatory diseases.

In this project we aim to establish the repertoire of epigenetic marks in inflammatory cells, identify the epigenetic landscape in inflammatory cells of the inflamed colon mucosa and intervene with these marks to reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Who we are & What we do


Epimac is an EU funded Training Network for young researchers, focussing on new medicine development in the area of epigenetics. We do this in unprecedented interaction with the researchers from the pharmaceutical industry partner GlaxoSmithKline. This provides the trained investigators the unique opportunity to be trained in academic and big pharma settings, so they learn the process of basic science, drug development, modelling, and clinical application, within their research.

Epigenetic mechanisms fundamentally control cell function in health and disease. In cancers often epigenetic chances are the reason the a cancer cell keeps dividing and remains self-renewable. Epigenetic medicines show great promise in cancer clinical trials.

In Epimac, we focus on a new class of medicine to be eveloped for immuun cells that gotten out of control, such as seen in IBD. In several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases inhibitors of epigenetic modifications, such as histone deacetylases, or BET inhibitors are effective in treating inflammatory gut disorders and juvenile arthritis. However, an incomplete understanding of the contributions of specific epigenetic modifiers to immune cell function, and the poor availability of selective tool compounds that target them, currently restricts further development in the clinic.
The goal of this project-EpiMac- is to gain better insight into how epigenetic modifications regulate innate immune cell differentiation and function, particularly in the case of IMIDs. We look at general IMIDs (inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis,) but focus on IBD, in which aberrant innate immune cell function contributes profoundly to pathology.

Our Location

Located Amsterdam

Meibergdreef 69
1105 BK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: T. +31205668163

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