info@epichembio.eu + 34 986 812 316

Psychiatric epigenetics, Boks group.

M.P.M.Boks@umcutrecht.nl
www.linkedin.com/in/marcoboks/?ppe=1
Address
Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Psychiatry, UMC Utrecht; Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands
Netherlands
Keywords

PSychiatry, trauma, epigenetics, DNA methylation, nutrition

Models

Brain organoids

Techniques

Population studies and trials

Collaborations outside COST

Short description of ongoing research projects

Genetic, epigenetic and epidemiological studies of Gene- Environment interplay The main theme of my research is how our genetic background shapes the influence of the environmental risk for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  The idea that disorders develop as a result of the interaction between genes and environment is generally supported. However methodological challenges of such studies have limited large scale genome wide efforts. Therefore studies that focus on the interaction between environmental risk and genetic background remain timely and necessary. Most genetic studies do not take into account more subtle but highly relevant molecular mechanisms of interactions between environment and genes that recently is identified as a key mechanism of adaptation. These mechanisms, referred to as epigenetics, are extensive and complex and to date not fully understood. Central to our understanding is that epigenetic mechanisms influences transcription of DNA by modifying access to the DNA sequences. What makes this line of research extra interesting is the potential for pharmaceutical manipulation. To focus these studies we have chosen cannabis, trauma and nutrition as a main environmental exposure. In addition to genetic variation as a modifier of environmental risk we study gene expression and DNA methylation levels using contemporary array based technologies. We are currently conducting studies on the influence of maternal famine in China on schizophrenia risk and investigate epigenetic modification of the stress response in relationship with post-traumatic stress- and bipolar disorder.

Publications
  1. Rutten BPF, Vermetten E.,. Vinkers CH,, Ursini G,, Daskalakis NP, Pishva E, de Nijs L, Houtepen LC, Eijssen L, Jaffe A., Kenis G, Viechtbauer W., Van den Hove D., Schraut KG, Lesch KP, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR, Schalkwyk L, Lunnon K, Mill J., Cohen H, Yehuda R., Baker DG, Maihofer AX., Nievergelt CN, Geuze E., Boks MP. Prospective methylome-wide analyses identify epigenetic loci underlying susceptibility to traumatic stress, Molecular Psychiatry
  2. Houtepen LC, Vinkers CH, Carrillo-Roa T, Hiemstra M, van Lier PA, Meeus W, Branje S, Heim CM, Nemeroff CB, Mill J, Schalkwyk LC, Creyghton MP, Kahn RS, Joels M, Binder EB, Boks MP, Genome-wide DNA methylation levels and altered cortisol stress reactivity following childhood trauma in humans, Nature Comm, 2016 21:7
  3. Boks MP, van Mierlo HC, Rutten BPF, Radstake TRDJ, De Witte L, Geuze E, Horvath S, Schalkwyk LC, CH Vinkers, JCA Broen, E Vermetten. Longitudinal changes of telomere length and epigenetic age related to traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014 51:506-12
  4. Houtepen LC, van Bergen AH, Vinkers CH, Boks MP. DNA methylation signatures of mood stabilizers and antipsychotics in bipolar disorder. Epigenomics. 2016 8:197-208. 
  5. Boks MP, van Mierlo HC, Rutten BPF, Radstake TRDJ, De Witte L, Geuze E, Horvath S, Schalkwyk LC, CH Vinkers, JCA Broen, E Vermetten. Longitudinal changes of telomere length and epigenetic age related to traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014 51:506-12
Other activities of potential interest to others


Cost UE