Dr Ozren Bogdanovic
Lab Head, Garvan Institute/UNSW
Two waves of DNA methylation reprogramming occur during mammalian embryogenesis; during preimplantation development and during primordial germ cell (PGC) formation. However, it is currently unclear how evolutionarily conserved these processes are. Here we characterize the DNA methylomes of zebrafish PGCs at four developmental stages and identify retention of paternal epigenetic memory, in stark contrast to the process in mammals. Gene expression profiling of zebrafish PGCs at the same developmental stages revealed that the embryonic germline is defined by a small number of markers that display strong developmental stage-specificity and that are independent of DNA methylation-mediated regulation. We identified promoters that are specifically targeted by DNA methylation in somatic and germline tissues during vertebrate embryogenesis and that are frequently misregulated in human cancers. Together, these detailed epigenome and transcriptome maps of the zebrafish germline provide novel insights into vertebrate epigenome reprogramming and enhance our understanding of the relationships between germline fate acquisition and oncogenesis.
Ozren Bogdanovic obtained his PhD from Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), where he worked on DNA methylation and methyl CpG-binding proteins during early embryogenesis in the lab of Gert Jan Veenstra. Ozren then moved to the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD, Seville – Spain) to work with Jose Luis Gomez-Skarmeta and Juan Ramon Martinez-Morales on various aspects of embryonic gene regulation. There he led a number of developmental genetics projects and participated in the adaptation of next-generation sequencing technologies to vertebrate embryonic material. In 2013 Ozren started his postdoctoral studies at the University of Western Australia in the laboratory of Ryan Lister where he conducted research in the fi eld of developmental and evolutionary epigenomics. His work at UWA includes the discovery of a highly conserved epigenome remodeling event associated with vertebrate body plan formation. Ozren joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research as a Lab Head in February 2017. At the Garvan Ozren is applying integrative approaches to study the contribution of the epigenome to vertebrate embryogenesis and cancer formation.
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