All cells of one individual contain the same genetic material. But how do cells acquire cell identity and keep memory of their tissue origin. Our epigenome is essential in orchestrating the level and timing of its thousands of genes. Epigenetic patterning is crucial for 'healthy' cell and tissue performance. Many diseases are associated with an altered epigenetic landscape. Since epigenetic regulation is in principle flexible and reversible it opens unique opportunities for (therapeutic) intervention.

How dynamic epigenetic interactions emerge in single cells and how they contribute to biological functionality is still largely unresolved. The subject is timely and current technological breakthroughs open an unexplored, exciting field of research with great potential for individualized medicine.

The Verschure group uses a synthetic, systems biology approachstudying the role of complex epigenetic interactions underlying cell state switching to understand functional cell behavior.

We currently focus on:

  1. Responsiveness to epigenetic reprogramming using CRISPR/dCas (collaboration UMCG, prof. Rots)
  2. Breast cancer endocrine therapy resistance development (EU H2020 EpiPredict consortium coordinated by Verschure)
  3. UV-induced damage and repair (collaboration ErasmusMC)
  4. Age determination for forensic applications (collaboration NFI and CLHC).


Since we combine computer modelling with state-of-the-art epigenetic technologies (e.g. CRISPR/dCas epigenetic editing) and timely single cell approaches, we are at the core of basic and biomedical research questions which provides us interest from colleagues and a wide-range of funding opportunities.

We obtained funding from the following sources:





EU H2020 EpiPredict

Coordinated by Verschure