Evidence of Epigenetics in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Ongoing)

Posted On 2022-07-11 14:17:35

This series on "Evidence of Epigenetics in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases" is edited by Dr. Patrick Varga-Weisz, University of Essex, UK and Dr. Raquel Franco Leal, University of Campinas, Brazil. The main purposes of this series are 1) to shed light onto potential links between epigenetic mechanisms and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and to highlight new findings in this respect, 2) to explore progress in this field in pre-clinical models and in patients, and 3) to examine the role of environment in its broadest sense in IBD.

Patrick Varga-Weisz
Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, England; São Paulo Excellence Chair Professor (FAPESP), University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil

Patrick Varga-Weisz was born in Neustadt and der Weinstrasse, Southwest Germany, a town not far from Heidelberg and the French border.  He did his undergraduate degree at the University of Tübingen (1983-1986) in biochemistry and his Ph.D. in “Biochemistry and Biophysics” at Oregon State University, USA. Patrick then joined the laboratory of Ken van Holde, also at OSU and this brought him into the chromatin field.  He continued his studies of chromatin at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg) where he discovered fundamental mechanisms of chromatin remodelling. Patrick became a group leader at the Marie Curie Research Institute, Surrey, UK in 1997 and the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, from 2004-2017.

In these institutes, he contributed to our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of chromatin dynamics, gene regulation and epigenetic inheritance. He joined the University of Essex in January 2018. He is also a São Paulo Excellence Chair Professor (FAPESP) at the University of Campinas, Brazil. In his recent research, Patrick studies how chromatin dynamics shape host-microbiome interactions in the gut.

Raquel Franco Leal, MD, PhD
Department of Surgery, Colorectal Surgery Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil; IBD Research Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil

As a researcher, she has devoted over 15 years to biomedical science and in particular to the study of inflammatory bowel diseases. She spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago (6 months) and at the University of Barcelona (Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer) (2 years). She has been an independent researcher since early 2010. She obtained a permanent position at University of Campinas, in July 2009 as Assistant Physician (Surgeon), in June 2011 as Assistant Professor, and in June 2015 as Associate Professor.

Her team, which includes graduate students, postdoc and technician, belongs to the IBD Research Laboratory at the Department of Surgery, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas. During the past few years, she has focused on understanding the immune regulation in patients with IBD, with a special interest in identifying biomarkers and new molecular targets for novel therapies. With that purpose in mind, she has established research contracts with international institutes (Institute of Biomedical Research August Pi i Sunyer) and companies, besides national research grants (FAPESP - São Paulo Research Foundation; CNPq - National Council for Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil; FAEPEX - Support Fund for Teaching, Research and Extension of Unicamp).

As a scientist, she is also deeply committed to the academic aspects of her work and, apart from teaching graduate students, she has served as Associate Professor of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Campinas since June 2015, performing surgeries on patients with colorectal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer, at the Clinical Hospital from the University of Campinas. Moreover, she has been teaching medical residents in the outpatient and inpatient clinics, as well as in the colonoscopy Unit.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4285-4402
Web of Science Researcher ID: W-7997-2019

The series on "Evidence of Epigenetics in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases" is commissioned by the editorial office, Digestive Medicine Research (DMR) without any sponsorship or funding Dr. Patrick Varga-Weisz and Dr. Raquel Franco Leal serve as the unpaid Guest Editors for the series.