Epigenetic Epidemiology, Genetic Epidemiology

Focus of research

Situated at the Clinical Genetics department of the Amsterdam Medical Center (NL), Dr Henneman (PI) is leading a research group studying epigenetics of complex and non-complex diseases in order to detect novel associated genetic and epigenetic loci. Moreover, Dr. Henneman is closely involved in follow-up translational studies of novel detected loci. Three major topics are in particular Dr. Henneman’s interest: (1) Early developmental  environmental factors and their epigenetic contribution to complex diseases e.g. food allergy, Type II diabetes mellitus and stress disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (2) Epigenetics in intervention and translational studies focusing on e.g. PTSD and Crohn’s disease. (3) Clinical diagnostic applications of epigenetic signatures in rare syndromes. In relation to the latter, Dr. Henneman is affiliated to the dept. of clinical genetics, genome diagnostics, where he is closely involved in the implementation and application of DNA-methylation signatures of rare syndromes under the flag of EpiSign, an international collaboration with Canadian (London Health Sciences Centre, Canada, Episign, Dr. Bekim Sadokovic) and USA partners. In total Dr. Henneman’ s research group involves 9 PhD students, 2 bioinformaticians and 1 Post doc researcher. In 2017 his first PhD student defended her thesis on complex traits and epigenetic analyses within a large cohort of Ghanaian migrants (promotor Prof. dr. Charles Agyemang). In 2018 Dr. Henneman received substantial funding (in collaboration with Prof. dr, G.R.A.M. D’Haens) from the Helmsley charity foundation (USA) to study therapeutic response of anti-inflammatory therapy in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease in order to develop a personalized treatment protocol. Within this project, Dr. Henneman’ s group also applied single cell technology in this cohort in order to study the context and origin of the detected differential DNA-methylation profiles (unpublished).