Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics
Dr. Michael Kobor, an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics, focuses his research on the environmental and biological factors that affect genome function and gene expression, with a particular emphasis on how DNA is packaged.
Mounting evidence suggests that human diseases including asthma and allergies as well as mental health are influenced by social and environmental experiences during early life. Dr. Kobor is investigating how childhood experiences can “get under the skin” via epigenetic marks to affect health and behaviour across the life course. His multidisciplinary “society to cell” approach integrates gene-environment research with a focus on developmental origins of health and disease.
Dr. Kobor works in close partnership with researchers from child development, psychology, respiratory disease, and epidemiology across Canada and worldwide. His team is examining children and adults to understand how early adversity, such as poverty or abuse, can leave lasting epigenetic marks that influence diverse health outcomes.
Dr. Kobor is excited about the possibilities for identifying the biological pathways by which early environments are embedded into the genome, and the potential of epigenetics to evaluate and develop interventions that target at-risk populations.