Research in Dr Mirbahai’s lab utilizes molecular genetics approaches to investigate the role of epigenetic factors in health and disease as well as understanding how they contribute towards the way species sense and respond to environmental stressors.
1) Epigenetics and ageing:
A main research focus in Dr Mirbahai’s lab is to understand the epigenetic component of ageing. It is thought that the 'epigenetic drift' in the genome accumulates with age, increasing an individual's risk of developing disease. The direction and severity of epigenetic drift is influenced by external factors. Therefore the aim of the research conducted at Dr Mirbahai’s lab is to: (A) identify epigenetic pathways influencing ageing, longevity and age-associated diseases (B) promote healthy ageing by genetically and chemically manipulating the identified pathways (C) Establish alternative models for epigenetic research into complex trait.
2) Environmental toxico-epigenomics
One of the research areas in Dr Mirbahai’s lab is to advance environmental toxico-epigenomics by (A) progressing predictive toxicology based on genomics and epigenomics pathways, (B) identifying epigenetic biomarker for assessing the long-term effect of environmental pollutants, (C) discovering genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of adaptive and adverse responses in organisms after chronic exposure to low doses of stressors and (D) generating the methylome of environmentally-relevant species, such as Daphnia. The overall aim is to accomplish a mechanistic understanding of how organisms and their populations sense and cope with environmental stress, including chemicals.