A/PROF Marnie Blewitt

A/PROF Marnie Blewitt


  • Understanding the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic gene silencing in mammals



  • My group is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic gene silencing in mammals, where we focus on X chromosome compensation as a model epigenetic process. Much of our work is on the epigenetic regulator SMCHD1 and its role in epigenetic silencing in normal biology, and its role in several human developmental diseases.



Selected publications



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Research interest

    We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms behind epigenetic silencing. We use several model systems to study the interaction between known and novel epigenetic modifiers: X inactivation, embryonic and haematopoietic stem cell activity, and embryonic development.

    In each case, we seek to understand how epigenetic modifiers elicit transcriptional silencing, and how this relates to functional outcomes for the cell. We use a combination of genetic, genomic and advanced imaging techniques to address these questions.

    By studying the molecular mechanisms governing epigenetic control in normal development, we hope to understand how it goes awry in disease. This may reveal how we can manipulate epigenetic state for therapeutic gain.

    Our current focus is the epigenetic regulator SMCHD1. We are screening for small molecule activators and inhibitors of SMCHD1: the former as potential treatments for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, the latter for Prader Willi and Schaaf-Yang syndromes. These diseases have no current targeted treatments.