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We looked at the objectives of three consortiums that aim to produce and analyze epigenomic data. The NIH is a US national effort, while IHEC is a global effort with shared leadership around the world. Both NIH and IHEC focus on disease and pathology effect of epigenomics. EpiGeneSys is more focused in fundamental research and systems biology.

NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Mapping ConsortiumEdit

The overall hypothesis of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program is that the origins of health and susceptibility to disease are, in part, the result of epigentic regulation of the genetic blueprint. Specifically, epigenetic mechanisms that control stem cell differentiation and organogensis contribute to the biological response to endogenous and exogenous forms of stimuli that result in disease


The aim of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Mapping Consortium is summarized in the following points:

  1. Create an international committee

  2. Develop standardized platforms, procedures, and reagents for epigenomics research

  3. Consuct demonstration projects to evaluate how epigenome change

  4. Develop new technologies for single cell epigenomic analysis and in vivo imaging of epigenetic activity

  5. Create a public data resource to accelerate the application of epigenomics approaches

Main goals

Transforming biomedical research in the following ways:

  • Develop comprehensive reference epigenome maps

  • Develop new technologies for comprehensive epigenomic analyses


  • University of Washington (UW), University of California (UCDF), British Columbia Genome Sciences Center (BCGSC), UC Davis Genome Center (UC Davis), Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCSD), Salke Institute for Biological Studies (SALK), Morgridge Institute for Research (UW), Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (MGH/BROAD) : Production sequencing of human reference epigenomics

  • Baylor College of Medecine (EDACC) : Epigenomics Data Analysis and Coordination Center. All data produced by the above centers is collected and analyzed by the EDACC.

  • National Institute for Biotechnology (NCBI) : Public Data Repository. Data is accessible at


The Consortium is mapping DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin accessibility and smallRNAs transcripts in stem cells and primary ex vivo tissues, mainly in:

  • ES and IPS cells

  • Development tissues

  • Adult cells and tissues all in human


The EpiGeneSys NoE aims to bring together the two thriving fields of epigenetics and systems biology in order to address fundamental epigenetic mechanisms in quantitative terms both spatially and temporally. The research portfolio of EpiGeneSys is centered on three broad research topics:

  1. Characterizing the molecular dynamics of epigenetic systems at the single molecule and cell level
  2. Linking genotypes to epigenotypes
  3. Investigating how environmental, developmental and metabolic signals act upon the epigenome

This will be supported by a transversal effort in technology aiming to provide an integrated computational epigenetics framework. The ultimate goal is to express the dynamic nature of epigenetic systems in mathematical terms in order to model and predict how the balance between maintenance and erasure of epigenetic information varies in specific developmental contexts under normal or pathological conditions.


There are 22 different laboratories are involved in this project from 6 different countries

The coordinators are:


Geneviève Almouzni





Asifa Akhtar

Deputy coordinator




Wolf Reik

Deputy coordinator




Eran Segall

Deputy coordinator

Tel Aviv


IHEC International Human Epigenomics ConsortiumEdit

The International Human Epigenomics Consortium (IHEC) is an effort with the objetive to coordinate epigenome mapping and characterisation to avoid redundant research, to implement high data quality standards, to coordinate data storage, management and analysis and to provide free access to the epigenomes produced.

Primary GoalsEdit

Timeline: 7-10 years
Number of Epigenome Maps: +1000.
Cellular states targeted: Stemness, immortality, proliferation, differentiation, senescence, and stress

They also plan to do comparative analysis of Epigenome Map of model organisms relevant to human health and diseases.

Interim International Steering CommitteeEdit

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