ELSC Seminar: Karen Avraham - Jun. 15th, 2017 at 17:00

June 15, 2017

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by:


Karen Avraham 

Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University

On the topic of:

The Epigenetic Blueprint of the Inner Ear Sensory Epithelium: Implications for hearing


The lecture will be held on Thursday June 15th, 2017 at 17:00

at ELSC: Silberman Bldg., 3rd Wing, 6th Floor,

 Edmond J. Safra Campus  

Light refreshments served at 16:45



Mechanisms of epigenetic regulation have been studied vigorously, gaining a major boost by coupling traditional molecular biology methods with high-throughput Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). This regulatory level, above the DNA sequence, is controlled by a combination of regulatory non-coding RNAs, dynamic nucleosome occupancy, histone post-translational modifications, and DNA methylation. The mammalian inner ear is a complex morphological structure responsible for hearing and balance, with its development subject to a detailed orchestration of regulation. We predict that epigenetic processes play a major role in governing inner ear cellular differentiation processes and functionality. As a result, we are investigating multiple levels of epigenetic regulation of cell circuitry in the inner ear, including the coding and non-coding transcriptome, chromatin structure, histone modification, and DNA methylation using RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, ChIP-Seq and MethylC-Seq. For example, our data indicates there is a high percentage of non-CpG methylation accumulated in the inner ear sensory epithelium across all stages, which is significantly higher than other differentiated tissues except the brain. This suggests a similar non-CpG methylation-dependent regulation of gene expression as in the fully differentiated brain. Our work will enable us to discover gene specific and systematic modes of gene expression regulation, allowing us to gain a better understanding of the regulatory network that leads to a fully functional inner ear organ of Corti. Overall, the breakthroughs enabled by epigenomic analysis may help guide the development of therapeutics, by providing multiple entry points for manipulation of the auditory system.