What is epigenetics
Wouter de Jonge, professor of Experimental Gastroenterology, Amsterdam UMC:
Epigenetics is a broad term for the control panel for our genes. It involves changes to our DNA that do not alter the genetic code itself but can influence how DNA will be used in the cell. These instructions can be influenced by various factors, such as our environment, lifestyle, and even experiences. Epigenetics does not only affect DNA, but also structures wrapped around our DNA, so-called histones. It is a very complex process. Epigenetic changes can impact our health by affecting how our genes function, not only influencing our risk for certain diseases but also influencing the effect of different drugs on our bodies. In the OmiCrohn trial we will use patients’ individual epigenetic “blueprint” in DNA to predict the effect of different therapeutic options.