skip to primary navigationskip to content

Julie Ahringer

2017 AhringerJulie Ahringer PhD FMedSci, Director, Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, Professor of Genetics and Genomics, Member of the Department of Genetics

Ahringer Group website | Europe PMC | Pubmed




The regulation of chromatin architecture and function

How is chromatin structure regulated to direct correct gene expression programmes?

The genome is regulated in the context of chromatin, the organisation of genomic DNA with histones and hundreds of associated proteins and RNAs. Chromatin structure controls gene expression and other nuclear processes, and its regulation is critical for the expression of cell identity, the maintenance of pluripotency, and the transformation to cancer. In addition, aberrations in chromatin architecture underlie developmental defects and disease, underscoring the importance of understanding how chromatin structure is regulated.

Controls occur at many levels, including local interactions between regulatory elements, modification of linear chromatin domains, and larger-scale spatial folding and organisation within the nucleus.

We use C. elegans to study these processes, applying genetics, high-throughput genomics and computational approaches to understand the regulation of gene expression and genome organisation in development.


Selected publications:

• Jänes J et al. (2018) Chromatin accessibility dynamics across C. elegans development and ageing. eLife 7:e37344. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37344.

• Serizay J & Ahringer J (2018) Genome organization at different scales: nature, formation, and function. Curr Opin Cell Biol 52:145–153. DOI: 10.1016/

• Carelli F, Sharma G & Ahringer J (2017) Broad chromatin domains: an important facet of genome regulation. Bioessays 39 (12): 1700124. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201700124.

• McMurchy AN et al. (2017) A team of heterochromatin factors collaborates with small RNA pathways to combat repetitive elements and germline stress. eLife 6: e21666. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.21666.

• Stempor P & Ahringer J (2016) SeqPlots - Interactive software for exploratory data analyses, pattern discovery and visualization in genomics. Wellcome Open Research 15 (1):14. eCollection 2016.

• Evans, KJ et al.  (2016) Stable C. elegans chromatin domains separate broadly expressed and developmentally regulated genes. PNAS  doi:10.1073/pnas.1608162113.

• Latorre I et al. (2015) The DREAM complex promotes gene body H2A.Z for target repression. Genes Dev 29: 495–500.

 Ahringer group (Nov18 to Feb19)

Video: Meet Julie Ahringer


Alex Appert • Lindsey Bartram • Francesco Carelli • Chiara Cerrato • Yan Dong • Andrea Frapporti • Csenge Gal • Yuanhang Jiang  • Rhys McDonough • Karolina Oniszczuk • Wei Qiang Seow • Jacques Serizay • Przemyslaw Stempor • Anna Townley • Isaac Walton