1994 …2022

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Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Research Group Head

Centre for Reproductive Health
Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Associate Professor Patrick Western’s research is focused on understanding the epigenetic processes underlying establishment of the germ cell lineage and the impact of transmitted epigenetic information on the next generation.

A/Prof Western completed his doctoral studies on temperature dependent sex determination in the American alligator. He then moved to Professor Azim Surani’s laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University, where he studied epigenetic reprogramming and the reacquisition of pluripotency in differentiated somatic cells, embryonic stem cells and germ cells. A/Prof Western then joined the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development where he pursued an interest in sex-specific germ cell development with a focus on the regulation of pluripotency and differentiation in early germ cells.

A/Prof Western leads the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Group within the Centre for Reproductive Health at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. Using genetic and pharmacological models, the Germ Cell Development and Epigenetics Group studies mechanisms regulating epigenetic programming in the germline and the impacts of germline epigenetic information on offspring development. Our work combines discovery science with translational research aimed at developing clinically relevant information required for understanding the impacts of epigenetic programming on disease inheritance, and the potential interactions between epigenomic drugs and the germline epigenome, and subsequent outcomes in offspring.

Research area keywords

  • epigenetics
  • inheritance
  • fetal origins of disease
  • oocyte
  • sperm
  • developmental disease

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Defining the epigenetic origins of maternally inherited disease.

Western, P., Gardner, D., Voss, A. K., van den Buuse, M., Adelson, D. L., Sims, N., Hutt, K., Dickinson, H., Stringer, J., Hill, R. & Gibson, W.


Project: Research

Determining the impacts of epigenetic modifying drugs on germline programming and offspring health

Western, P., Gardner, D., Adelson, D. L., Hill, R. & Ziegler, D.


Project: Research

IRTG: International Research Training Grant (IRTG)_Renewal of Molecular pathogenesis of male reproductive disorders project

Meinhardt, A., Loveland, K., Bhushan, S., Ellem, S. J., Hedger, M., O'Bryan, M., O'Donnell, L., Stanton, P., Risbridger, G., Baker, M. A., Hobbs, R., Loveland, B., Exintaris, B., Western, P., McLachlan, R., Whittaker, M., Wagenlehner, F. M. E., Bergmann, M., Diemer, T., Fietz, D., Fijak, M., Konrad, L., Linn, T., Middendorff, R., Pilatz, A., Schagdarsurengin, U., Schuppe, H. C., Steger, K. & Scheiner-Bobis, G.


Project: Research

Research Output

A step toward making human oocytes

Stringer, J. M. & Western, P. S., 3 Jan 2019, In : Nature Biotechnology. 37, 1, p. 24-25 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOther

Epigenomic drugs and the germline: Collateral damage in the home of heritability?

Western, P. S., 15 Jun 2018, In : Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 468, p. 121-133 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Esrp1 is a marker of mouse fetal germ cells and differentially expressed during spermatogenesis

Saeidi, S., Shapouri, F., De Iongh, R. U., Casagranda, F., Sutherland, J. M., Western, P. S., McLaughlin, E. A., Familari, M. & Hime, G. R., 1 Jan 2018, In : PLoS ONE. 13, 1, 15 p., e0190925.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Loss of maternal EED results in postnatal overgrowth

Prokopuk, L., Stringer, J. M., White, C. R., Vossen, R. H. A. M., White, S. J., Cohen, A. S. A., Gibson, W. T. & Western, P. S., 13 Jul 2018, In : Clinical Epigenetics. 10, 1, 14 p., 95.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)

Out of sight, out of mind? Germ cells and the potential impacts of epigenomic drugs [version 1; referees: 3 approved]

Jarred, E. G., Bildsoe, H. & Western, P. S., 1 Jan 2018, In : F1000Research. 7, 14 p., 1967.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)