The Greer lab is interested in how non-genetic information can be transmitted across generations. An increasing number of complex phenotypes, such as physical appearance, energy metabolism, psychological state, and longevity, have recently been shown to be regulated, in part, by epigenetic information. Epigenetics describes how gene expression changes occur without changes to the DNA sequence. Proteins, RNA molecules, or chemical modifications to histones or DNA can induce these epigenetic changes. How this information, which is not directly coded in our DNA, is passed from generation to generation is still unknown. Understanding the molecular determinants of stable epigenetic memory will provide insight into how environmental changes can affect the health and lifespan of not only the individual who experiences them, but also of their progeny. Our goals are to identify epigenetic inheritance phenotypes and to elucidate the mechanisms behind their transmission across generations.