Every human begins as a single cell that has the instructions, encoded within its DNA and genes, necessary to build a fully functioning human being. This cell must grow, copy its DNA, and then divide to create new cells which specialise to form the tissues and organs that underpin human life. This remarkable process of specialisation relies on cells using their genes in a highly precise and controlled manner during development. Despite extensive efforts to study how cells achieve this, our understanding of many of the most basic molecular mechanisms that allow genes to be used at the right time and place during development remain enigmatic. In my lab, to understand how this happens, we’re focussed on discovering how poorly understood DNA features, called CpG islands, use so-called ‘epigenetic mechanisms’ to shape how gene usage is controlled. Through understanding these processes better, we hope to uncover new avenues to combat human diseases where CpG islands and their associated epigenetic processes don’t function properly. To find out more about the talented researchers in the lab who are tackling these important problems and learn a little more about our most recent advances, visit our lab website. If you would like to join us in our efforts, please send me an email.