Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Epigenetics of diabetes, mapping the human methylome and building the epigenomic atlas of Type 1 Diabetes ncRNAs and histone code changes mediate epigenetic events and gene expression in heart disease MeCP2 interacting ncRNAs associated with gene regulatory changes Set7 methyltransferase as a target to reduce the burden of diabetic vascular and renal complications ROS mediated epigenetic changes associated with hyperglycemic memory


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


El-Osta research group:

Professor El-Osta is an epigeneticist and his research is recognized at the highest international level and this is clearly demonstrated by his rapid upward trajectory with respect to publications including citations. He has contributed more than 175 articles and publishes research that is highly influential in the field of transcription and chromatin biology. In recognition of his research into epigenetics, he was awarded AMGEN Australian Medical Researcher of the Year in 2006 by the ASMR Australian Society for Medical Research. The inclusion of his prominent research into the Faculty of 1000 Biology and Nature Milestones as well as most read articles in Circulation Research "honor roll" for 2011 exemplify an authoritative position, influence, and international reputation. While frequently invited to write editorials, his research is recognized in editorials and was awarded in the “2013 Anthology” of most significant science in Circulation Research. He was recently elected vice-president of the International Epigenetics Society and serve as guest editor and solicited to contribute authoritative reviews for prominent journals that in 2015/16 include Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Molecular Aspects of Medicine and Circulation Research. As well as his promotion to Professor in 2013 and in recognition of excellence in supervision and mentoring, in 2015, he is an adjunct Professor in epigenetics at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong as well as visiting lecturer with Kobenhavns Professionshojskole, University College Copenhagen (formerly known as Metropolitan University College and recently merged with University College Capital) in Denmark. His highly original contributions are influential and reflected by prestigious international invitations that include keynote and plenary lectures, which in 2016 include EAS (Austria), EASD (Munich) and IDF-WPR (Taipei). Since 2011, he has received >$6 Million dollars in external research funding, which has become more diversified to include not only NHMRC and Centre of Research Excellence funding but also competitive international sources such as the European Union and FP7 and JDRF. In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious Millennium Type 1 Diabetes Research Award by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust and received the inaugural Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation & Macquarie Group Foundation in 2009 for diabetes research innovation, in recognition excellence and innovation in medical research. Further evidence of increasing academic achievements by his group includes 7 Ph.D. students graduating and 3 new Ph.D. students with scholarships in the last two years. His reputation for excellence in training, research and technology are considered world class with students obtaining international postdoctoral postings. He is recognized by the NHMRC “honor roll” with prominent international advisory appointments such as ESF, JDRF, and Oxford Global and recently invited to serve on the editorial board for the journals, ncRNA and Epigenetics. As a principal investigator, he leads extensive multidisciplinary collaborative research programs that include leading research sites within the European Union and China.



Professor El-Osta is frequently invited to speak at major international meetings that include keynote and opening lectures and over the past 5 years have presented at local and national meetings on 13 occasions and presented on 63 occasions at international meetings including 12 Plenary/Keynote lectures. International invitations with several keynote and plenary lectures that in 2016 include, Lecture 1st Epigenomics Meeting (Dubrovnik), Plenary lecture 84th European Atherosclerosis Society (Austria), 52nd European Association for the Study of Diabetes (Munich) and Keynote lecture 11th IDF-WPR Congress 2016 & 8th AASD Scientific Meeting (Taipei). Together with Professor Ronald Ma, he is an International Organizer for the Gordon Research Conference, Epigenomics of Diabetes and other Metabolic Diseases, Hong Kong SAR 2018.



Professor El-Osta has extensive mentoring and supervisory roles for new researchers in the field, with his laboratory hosting international and local scholarship awardees, as well as postdoctoral scientists (HFSP, NHMRC-INSERM, and EFSD). He has a reputation for excellence in training, research and technology continue at the highest international level with postdoctoral postings from Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, France and The Netherlands. He is a primary and associate supervisor to 33 students (20 Ph.D., 4 MSc, 3 Hons) and 6 completed international trainees. World-class academic achievements in my group are demonstrated and on the rise with six Ph.D. students graduating with doctoral awards and three new Ph.D. students with scholarships in the last two years. He has also helped the career of several early research fellows, many who have now established their own independent research groups achieving funding and fellowships in their own right.

Research interests

Research Overview

It is increasingly appreciated that gene-environment interactions particularly as they pertain to human health and disease involve epigenetic pathways including a range of biochemical modifications of chromatin including DNA methylation are key areas of interest. The central focus of my research team is to investigate the mechanisms by which specific epigenetic changes including chromatin modifications serve to integrate the transcriptional responses to distinct signaling pathways. The rapid rate of progress over the past five years and the series of discoveries that we and others have contributed in the field concerning epigenetic modification and gene regulation reflect unheralded advances in understanding human development and disease.

We are interested in characterizing the functional roles of specific components critical in gene regulation and examine the link to human disease using genetic, epigenomic and molecular approaches. The group led by Professor El-Osta is interested in understanding the roles of specific transcriptional components in the regulation of metabolic memory and cardiac disease and further extend our understanding of gene silencing events associated with genomic methylation in pre-clinical models and human populations. The focus of the laboratory is to provide fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which epigenetic changes and associated chromatin modifications control genes implicated in human health and disease.

Our investigation of the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation by specific repressor and co-activator complexes using vascular endothelial and cardiac cells as well as the brain, has led to a range of novel mechanistic insights into the biology of epigenetic changes mediating critical transcriptional changes in models of endothelial dysfunction, vascular disease and in utero programming. Professor El-Osta’s laboratory, has contributed to understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby epigenetic changes exert positive and negative transcriptional functions in specific model systems. His team explores the relationship between different classes of co-repressor and activator complexes and the regulation of chromatin remodeling events in maintaining gene expression implicated in disease.

Research Focus

Projects and Opportunities

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Transcriptional Biology of Chemotherapeutic Resistance, PhD, University of Melbourne

External positions

Adjunct Professor, Prince of Wales Hospital Hong Kong

Honorary Associate, University College Copenhagen

Research area keywords

  • Complex Disease
  • Clinical and Molecular Epigenetics
  • Chromatin
  • Diabetes
  • Histones
  • Transcriptional Regulation
  • Computational Epigenomics
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Metabolic disease
  • POTS
  • Orthostatic Intolerance


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or