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Personal profile

Research interests

  1. Understand the role of dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compounds on the genome and epigenome in health and disease
  2. Develop predictive models of wound severity and potential for repair in the context of diabetic foot ulcers. This research direction also involves the development of new potential therapeutics.

Research goals

Supported by McCord Research, the overall aim of the Epigenomic Medicine Laboratory is to investigate the effects of dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compounds on the genome and epigenome.  While nutrigenomics is relatively widely-investigated, the discipline of epigenomics represents the merged science of epigenetics and genomics.  The ultimate aim of this exciting field is to map and unravel the biological and biomedical significance of epigenetic phenomena.  The term epigenetics was introduced by the British scientist Conrad Waddington in the 1940s to incorporate all of the factors controlling gene expression and cell differentiation.  It was derived from the virtually redundant Aristotelian word of epigenesis, which was used by the Hellenic philosopher to describe his theory of gradual and progressive developmental changes. Today, epigenetics is typically defined as inherited phenotypic changes that are not due to changes in gene sequence.  However, an expanded approach may be to refer to epigenetics as an integrative view of the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing DNA metabolic processes including transcription, replication and repair.

In the Epigenomic Medicine Laboratory we investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms of action of dietary antioxidants and chromatin modifying compounds by investigating effects on the genome and epigenome, in various chronic progressive conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer, with a particular emphasis in diabetes and diabetic foot ulcers. The laboratory utilises a range of conventional methodologies including mammalian cell culture and in vivo studies and specialises in biomedical imaging with expertise in the analysis of DNA damage and repair.  We routinely perform experiments at the Australian Synchrotron (>1000 hours of imaging to date) in collaboration with Infrared Microspectroscopy beamline scientists.  The laboratory undertakes genome-wide sequencing experiments using services at the Australian Genome Research Facility, and perform bioinformatics analysis using commercially available Partek Flow software. Further, we have very well established collaboration for performing molecular modelling and molecular dynamic simulation studies.

Research area keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Epigenetics
  • Chromatin biology
  • DNA damage
  • nutrigenomics
  • diabetic foot
  • wound healing

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Research Output

Pharmacological histone deacetylation distinguishes transcriptional regulators

Rafehi, H., Karagiannis, T. C. & El-Osta, A., 1 May 2017, In : Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry. 17, 14, p. 1611 - 1622 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Systems approach to the pharmacological actions of HDAC inhibitors reveals EP300 activities and convergent mechanisms of regulation in diabetes

Rafehi, H., Kaspi, A., Ziemann, M., Okabe, J., Karagiannis, T. C. & El-Osta, A., 2 Nov 2017, In : Epigenetics. 12, 11, p. 991-1003 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Histone Deacetylases in Kidney Tissue Sections

Ververis, K., Marzully, S. P., Samuel, C. S., Hewitson, T. D. & Karagiannis, T. C., 2016, Kidney Research: Experimental Protocols. Hewitson, T. D., Smith, E. R. & Holt, S. G. (eds.). 2nd ed. New York NY USA: Humana Press, p. 279-289 11 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology: Springer Protocols; vol. 1397).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Strand breakage by decay of DNA-bound 124I provides a basis for combined PET imaging and Auger endoradiotherapy

Lobachevsky, P., Clark, G. R., Pytel, P. D., Leung, B., Skene, C., Andrau, L., White, J. M., Karagiannis, T., Cullinane, C., Lee, B. Q., Stuchbery, A., Kibedi, T., Hicks, R. J. & Martin, R. F., Nov 2016, In : International Journal of Radiation Biology. 92, 11, p. 686-697 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Cancer metabolism and the Warburg effect: the role of HIF-1 and PI3K

Courtnay, R., Ngo, D. C., Malik, N., Ververis, K., Tortorella, S. M. & Karagiannis, T. C., Apr 2015, In : Molecular Biology Reports. 42, 4, p. 841-851 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)