Robert J S Murray

Robert J S Murray
University of Southampton · Institute of Developmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) PhD

About

34
Publications
2,213
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512
Citations
Introduction
Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Epigenetics, currently researching early life epigenetic changes in relation to later cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. My current research focuses on epigenetic changes that occur during development that can be used as predicative markers of CVD risk. I am using array based methods in parallel with deep sequencing approaches to identify changes in DNA methylation that act as early biomarkers for CVD risk at birth and in childhood.
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - present
University of Southampton
Position
  • Personal Tutor
November 2016 - present
University of Southampton
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2013 - present
University of Southampton
Position
  • Small Group Teaching
Education
October 2017 - January 2018
University of Southampton
Field of study
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice
October 2004 - September 2008
University of Leicester
Field of study
  • Molecular Biology
October 2000 - July 2004
University of Aberdeen
Field of study
  • Genetics & Immunology

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Background Early life vitamin D exposure is linked to later skeletal health with maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy associated with neonatal bone mass. The MAVIDOS study has demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation leads to reduced RXRA DNA methylation. Mice exposed to early life vitamin D deficiency have reduced bone mass and bone accrual i...
Article
Full-text available
Background High early postnatal weight gain has been associated with childhood adiposity; however, the mechanism remains unknown. DNA methylation is a hypothesised mechanism linking early life exposures and subsequent disease. However, epigenetic changes associated with high early weight gain have not previously been investigated. Our aim was to in...
Article
Full-text available
DNA methylation (DNAm) in mammals is mostly examined within the context of CpG dinucleotides. Non-CpG DNAm is also widespread across the human genome, but the functional relevance, tissue-specific disposition, and inter-individual variability has not been widely studied. Our aim was to examine non-CpG DNAm in the wider methylome across multiple tis...
Article
Increases in aortic pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, can lead to elevated systolic blood pressure and increased cardiac afterload in adulthood. These changes are detectable in childhood and potentially originate in utero, where an adverse early life environment can alter DNA methylation patterns detectable at birth. Here, analy...
Article
Full-text available
Background Higher maternal plasma glucose (PG) concentrations, even below gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) thresholds, are associated with adverse offspring outcomes, with DNA methylation proposed as a mediating mechanism. Here, we examined the relationships between maternal dysglycaemia at 24 to 28 weeks’ gestation and DNA methylation in neonat...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Association studies of epigenome-wide DNA methylation and disease can inform biological mechanisms. DNA methylation is often measured in peripheral blood, with heterogeneous cell types with different methylation profiles. Influences such as adiposity-associated inflammation can change cell type proportions, altering measured blood methy...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The early life environment may influence susceptibility to obesity and metabolic disease in later life through epigenetic processes. SLC6A4 is an important mediator of serotonin bioavailability, and has a key role in energy balance. We tested the hypothesis that methylation of the SLC6A4 gene predicts adiposity across the life course....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Obesity is an established risk factor for several common chronic diseases such as breast and colorectal cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases; however, the biological basis for these relationships is not fully understood. To explore the association of obesity with these conditions, we investigated peripheral blood leucocyte (PB...
Article
Background: Fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2) controls the production of digestive and respiratory epithelia of histo-blood group antigens involved in the attachment of pathogens. The aim of our study was to relate FUT2 variants to reported gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses in infancy. Methods: In the Southampton Women's Survey, FUT2 genetic...
Article
Full-text available
We have previously demonstrated inverse associations between maternal 25(OH)‐vitamin D status and perinatal DNA methylation at the retinoid‐X‐receptor‐alpha (RXRA) locus and between RXRA methylation and offspring bone mass. We therefore used an existing randomised trial to test the hypothesis that maternal gestational vitamin D supplementation woul...
Article
Full-text available
The human genome contains ∼30,000 CpG islands (CGIs). While CGIs associated with promoters nearly always remain unmethylated, many of the ∼9,000 CGIs lying within gene bodies become methylated during development and differentiation. Both promoter and intragenic CGIs may also become abnormally methylated as a result of genome rearrangements and in m...
Article
Background: There is now increasing evidence that asthma and atopy originate in part in utero, with disease risk being associated with the altered epigenetic regulation of genes. Objective and methods: To determine the relationship between variations in DNA methylation at birth and the development of allergic disease, we examined the methylation...
Article
Poor intrauterine and childhood growth has been linked with the risk of osteoporosis in later life, a relationship which may in part be mediated through altered epigenetic regulation of genes. We previously identified a region within the promoter of the long non-coding RNA ANRIL encoded by the CDKN2A locus, at which differential DNA methylation at...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental studies show a substantial contribution of early life environment to obesity risk through epigenetic processes. We examined inter-individual DNA methylation differences in human birth tissues associated with child's adiposity. We identified a novel association between the level of CpG methylation at birth within the promoter of the lon...
Article
Full-text available
AimsAntisense non-coding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL) fixed genetic variants have consistently been linked with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. We investigated relationships between perinatal ANRIL promoter DNA methylation and CHD risk markers in children aged 9 years. Genetic variants in the non-coding RNA ANRIL identify it as an important CHD...
Article
Early life environments induce long-term changes in neurocognitive development and behaviour. In animal models, early environmental cues affect neuropsychological phenotypes via epigenetic processes but as yet there is little direct evidence for such mechanisms in humans. Method: We examined the relation between DNA methylation at birth and child...
Article
Full-text available
Early life environments induce long-term changes in neurocognitive development and behaviour. In animal models, early environmental cues affect neuropsychological phenotypes via epigenetic processes but, as yet, there is little direct evidence for such mechanisms in humans. We examined the relation between DNA methylation at birth and child neurops...
Article
Cardiovascular disease continues to impose a high societal and economic burden. Although it occurs primarily in later life, there is strong evidence that it originates in early life. The nutritional environment that an unborn child is exposed to can heavily influence later disease risk, with nutritional exposures altering organ development and prog...
Article
Full-text available
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest early nutrition has long-term effects on susceptibility to obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Small and large animal models confirm the influence of different windows of sensitivity, from fetal to early postnatal life, on offspring phenotype. We showed previously that undernutrition in s...
Article
Maternal vitamin D deficiency has been associated with reduced offspring bone mineral accrual. Retinoid-X Receptor-alpha (RXRA) is an essential cofactor in the action of 1,25(OH)2 -vitamin D, and RXRA methylation in umbilical cord DNA has been associated with later offspring adiposity. We tested the hypothesis that RXRA methylation in umbilical cor...
Article
Adult-onset diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are now highly prevalent in both developed and developing countries. Evidence from both human and animal studies shows that the prenatal and early postnatal environments can influence susceptibility to chronic diseases in later life. The mechanisms by which the early life envir...
Article
In patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer where the heart is within the radiation field, cutaneous telangiectasiae could be a marker of potential radiation-induced heart disease. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes known to cause heritable telangiectasia-associated disorders could predispose to such late,...
Article
Many genes have been associated with radiotherapy toxicity, but most have only been found in a single study. Using our cohort of 480 breast cancer patients, we provide replicated evidence that a polymorphism near the LIG3 gene is associated with acute skin toxicity following radiotherapy.