ARC/NHMRC Research Network in Genes and Environment in Development NGED

Contact Us
Aims & Objectives
Structure of the Network
Network Programs
Research Portfolio - Members
Early Career Researchers
Network Report
News Updates
NGED Newsletter

Research Funding Provided by:
Australian Government

Research Funding Provided by: Australian Government
Australian Research Council
National Health & Medical Research Council


You are here: NGED > Research Portfolio - Members Print View

Network Member Profile

A/Prof Emma Whitelaw


Professor Emma Whitelaw

Population Studies and Human Genetics

Queensland Institute of Medical Research

PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Queensland 4029

Telephone: 07 3845 3600 Facsimile:


Web Address

Current Field of Study

  • Epigenetics and mammalian gene expression

Australian Collaborators

  • Dr Chris O'Neill, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • Prof. Nick Martin, National Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Qld
  • Dr John Rasko, Centenary Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

International Collaborators

  • Dr. Andras Paldi, Institut Jacques-Monod, CNRS, Universités Paris, Paris, France
  • Dr. Haruhiko Koseki, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  • Dr. Steven Fiering, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth, USA
  • Dr. Ruth Arkell, Mammalian Genetics Unit, MRC, Harwell, UK
  • Dr. Hester Kroes, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Hans-H. Ropers, Max-Plank Institute, Berlin, Germany
  • Dr. En Li, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA


  • Flow cytometry facilities
  • Transgenic mouse facilities including animal house
  • Differential display techniques for identification of variably expressed genes

Lab Members

Prof Emma Whitelaw

Head of the Lab

Dr Suyinn Chong

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Neil Youngson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ms Alyson Ashe

PhD Student

Mr Tim Bruxner

PhD Student

Mr Daniel Morgan

PhD Student

Ms Nadia Whitelaw PhD Student


Recent Grant Income



Type of Grant


Income p.a.

A role for epigenetic modifiers in maintaining chromosome integrity during passage through the male gamete in the mouse Emma Whitelaw and David de Kretser NHMRC Project Grant 2006-2008 $380,000
Identification of variably expressed genes in isogenic mice and humans Emma Whitelaw NHMRC Project Grant 2005-2007 $100,000
Epigenetic inheritance through meiosis at the agouti locus in mice Emma Whitelaw NHMRC Project Grant 2003-2006 $60,000
Variable expressivity and epigenetic inheritance at the Axin fused locus in the mouse Emma Whitelaw NHMRC Project Grant 2003-2006 $80,000
Identification of variably expressed genes in isogenic mice and humans Emma Whitelaw NHMRC Project Grant 2005-2008 $100,000
A random mutagenesis screen to identify modifiers of epigenetic phenomena in the
Emma Whitelaw NHMRC Project Grant 2004-2008 $660,000 (TOTAL)
Does developmental noise have an epigenetic basis? S. Chong and E. Whitelaw ARC Discovery Project Grant 2004-2006 $225,000 (TOTAL)

Recent Publications

Ashe A and Whitelaw E (2007) Another role for RNA: a messenger across generations. Trends in Genetics (in press) Review

Whitelaw NC and Whitelaw E (2006) How lifetimes shape epigenotype both within and across generations. Human Molecular Genetics 2006 Oct: 15 Suppl 2 R131-7 Review

Oates N, van Vliet J, Duffy D, Kroes H, Martin N, Boomsma D, Campbell M, Coulthard M, Whitelaw E and Chong S (2006). Increased DNA methylation at the AXIN1 gene in an MZ twin from a pair discordant for a caudal duplication anomaly. American Journal of Human Genetics, 79, 155-162

Blewitt M, Vickaryous N, Paldi A, Koseki H and Whitelaw E (2006) Dynamic reprogramming of DNA methylation at an epigenetically sensitive allele in mice. PLoS Genetics, 2, e49

Peaston A and Whitelaw E (2006) Epigenetics and phenotypic variation in mammals. Mammalian Genome , 17, 365-374 (IF 2)

Whitelaw, E. (2005) Sins of the fathers, and their fathers.European Journal of Human Genetics , 14, 131-132

Blewitt M, Vickaryous N, Hemley S, Preis J, Ashe A, Bruxner T, Arkell R and Whitelaw E (2005) An ENU screen for genes involved in variegation in the mouse, Proc.Natl. Acad.Sci. USA, 102, 7629-34 (IF 11)

Vickaryous N and Whitelaw E (2005) The role of early embryonic environmemt on epigenotype and phenotype. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 17, 1-6

Chong S, Whitelaw E. (2004) Epigenetic germline inheritance. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Dec;14(6):692-6.

Druker R, Bruxner TJ, Lehrbach NJ, Whitelaw E. (2004) Complex patterns of transcription at the insertion site of a retrotransposon in the mouse. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Nov 01;32(19):5800-8. Print 2004.

Blewitt ME, Chong S, Whitelaw E. (2004) How the mouse got its spots. Trends Genet. 2004 Nov;20(11):550-4.

Druker R, Whitelaw E. (2004) Retrotransposon-derived elements in the mammalian genome: a potential source of disease. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2004;27(3):319-30. Review.

Rakyan VK, and Whitelaw E (2003) Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. A Quick Guide, Current Biology, 13 (1):R6

Rakyan V , Chong S, Champ M, Cuthbert P, Morgan H, Luu K and Whitelaw E (2003) Transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic states at the murine Axin FU allele occurs after maternal and paternal transmission. Proc.Nat.Acad.Sci. USA, 100(5):2538-2543

Preis J, Downes M, Rasko J, Oates NA, and Whitelaw E (2003) Sensitive flow-cytometric analysis reveals a novel type of parent-of-origin effect in the mouse genome. Current Biology 13:955-959

Rakyan VK, Blewitt ME, Druker R, Preis JI, and Whitelaw E (2002) Metastable epialleles in mammals. Trends in Genetics 18:348-51

Rakyan VK, Preis J, Morgan HD, Whitelaw E. (2001) The marks, mechanisms and memory of epigenetic states in mammals. Biochem J. 356(Pt 1):1-10.