The Sagol Center for Epigenetic of Aging and Metabolism is a Binational Israeli-Australian Project, under the leadership of Prof. Naftali Stern from our institution and Prof. Paul Zimmet from Monash University in Melbourne. We seek to identify acquired changes in human DNA methylation, which occur as we go through life. DNA methylation is one of the mechanisms that control the translation of DNA into the actual proteins, which are the basis for the human cell phenotype, physiology, and disease. DNA methylation patterns are partlyinherited from previous generations; some are imprinted during fetal development and many are formed during every person lifetime. We investigate the latter: how age, metabolic alterations, environment, lifestyle and various diseases leave DNA methylation marks. As an example, by typifying your unique DNA methylation "fingerprints" in a single blood sample we can calculate your epigenetic age, which parallels your biological age!
What is our mission, then?
Aging: We strive to detect, via the methylation status, which genes are involved in the aging of an individual and how pro- or anti-aging effects are affected. People of the same "average" biological age, can be very old in some ways, yet impressively young in others. If we uncover this on an individual level, personally tailored measures can be designed ahead of actual disease. This personalized approach is entirely outside the boundaries of current medicine.
Metabolism: we search for DNA methylation fingerprints and circulating metabolites which are unique to metabolic anomalies, such as obesity and diabetes. We look for early fingerprint of diseases in evolution.
We have established a core sophisticated epigenetic laboratory, but we take equa pride in our unique network: a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional and international team of scientists in epigenetics, endocrinology, metabolism, diabetes, hypertension, mathematics and machine learning, bioinformatics and biochemistry, all providing expertise, support and advice. Members of our team and advisory board reside at our core lab or at other institutions in Israel and abroad, such as Tel Aviv University, Holon Institute of Technology and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.