Genetics and Epigenetics Centre (GEC)

Epigenetic studies in the CLSA are timely and the CLSA will be among the first studies world-wide to prospectively measure the evolution of epigenetic markers in a large cohort of subjects for whom health-related, social and environmental measures will be obtained. Although it is a relatively new area of medical research that has heretofore been primarily focused on cancer, the tremendous impact of epigenetics on human health and disease is becoming widely appreciated.

Epigenetics has become a major focus of many consortia including the NIH Roadmap ( and the CIHR Canadian Epigenetics, Environment and Health Research Consortium (CEEHRC). However, many of these are primarily interrogating cellular systems or cancer tissues, while efforts to investigate human population epigenetics are less represented. This gap provides a unique opportunity for the CLSA to broadly provide a reference framework for variation in human DNA methylation in the context of aging, and to specifically examine its relationship to environments and health outcomes.

The CLSA Genetics and Epigenetics Centre (GEC) led by Dr. Michael Kobor is located in Vancouver at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the Child and Family Research Institute and closely affiliated with the Brain Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, taking advantage of the unique strengths embedded in the two sites. The GEC will enable hypothesis generation through the use of unbiased novel techniques to measure the epigenome in subsets of CLSA subjects over time. The epigenetic clock will be measured in many subjects enrolled in the CLSA, and specific hypotheses will be tested using genome-wide approaches in subsets of participants.

Site Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael S. Kobor
Site Contact
Dr. Michael Kobor
Contact Details
Phone: (604) 875-3803