Uses and Misuses of DNA Methylation to Explain Health Inequalities

December 4, 2019
12 p.m.
Mission Hall Room 1406

DNA methylation is a biological system critical for human physiological function. It is more stable over time than many biomarkers, but, unlike genotype, it is dynamic depending on the environment. Two difficult challenges for studying the impacts of social and economic factors on health are: 1) the lag time between exposure and health outcomes, and 2) the need to evaluate multiple health outcomes to understand the impacts of policy change. In this talk, I will discuss what we know about how DNA methylation may help to address these challenges, with the goal of providing the best evidence possible for understanding the impacts of policies for decreasing inequalities in health.

David Rehkopf, ScD, MPH is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford University. His work examines ways in which social and economic factors impact health and mortality across the lifespan, with a focus on the impact of work and earnings on chronic disease risk and aging.


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