Dr Owen Marshall
Menzies Institute for Medical Research
University of Tasmania

Title: "New states of mind: chromatin and epigenetic changes in brain development and disease"


Chromatin, or the epigenetic packaging of DNA, is a key means of controlling gene regulation through development.  However, we still know very little about how epigenetic remodelling influences cell fate within the brain, or how chromatin changes affect neurodegenerative disease.  Using our Targeted DamID (TaDa) system in Drosophila to profile the binding of chromatin proteins cell-type specifically, we show that chromatin is organised into seven principal states that divide the genome along developmental and housekeeping/metabolic lines.  By profiling these states in neural stem cells, neurons and glia within the brain, we show that surprisingly different epigenetic remodelling events occur during neuronal and glial differentiation.  Focussing on the learning and memory neurons of the fly mushroom body, we show that neuronal subtypes are themselves remarkably epigenetically diverse, and that these epigenetic differences identify novel genes involved in mushroom body development.  Finally, looking at chromatin state changes within mushroom body neurons during the progression of a fly model of Alzheimer's disease, we show that epigenetic remodelling in this disease model is more specific and targeted than previously thought.



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018