Our research cluster studies epigenetic changes in organisms across the spectrum of biological diversity (vertebrates- Rudy Boonstra and Patrick McGowan) and research foci (natural systems – Boonstra, McGowan; biomedical – McGowan). Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene function that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. These changes in gene regulation can have an environmental origin and can affect offspring development. Our research cluster is based on an interconnected set of labs that share research infrastructure and expertise. There is a great deal of productive cross-fertilization of ideas and talents among our teams.