Wolf Reik#

Short laudatio by Sir Brian Heap#


Wolf Reik is a world leader in epigenetics. His work elucidated key molecular mechanisms of genomic imprinting, and its impact in medicine and physiology. He discovered epigenetic reprogramming and its molecular mechanisms, including those involved in demethylation of DNA. He has shown that epigenetic reprogramming is important for stem cell pluripotency and experimental reprogramming (including cloning), and that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is affected by reprogramming.

Wolf Reik's contributions to epigenetics research have significantly shaped the research area in Europe and world wide. He has built at the Babraham Institute (BI) in Cambridge as Head of Programme over the last 10 years one of the most active epigenetics environments worldwide (amongst the world’s 10 leading research centres in epigenetics research, www.sciencewatch.com/inter/ins/09/09marEpigentop20).

Reik has also forged a formal link between BI and the University of Cambridge where he is honorary Professor of Epigenetics and on the Board of Managers of the Centre for Trophoblast Research. He has been a member of several major UK funding committees such as MRC, CRUK, and Wellcome Trust. He is currently on the SAB for the Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, and for the Developmental Biology and Genetics Unit of the Institut Curie in Paris, and is a consultant to the company CellCentric in Cambridge. He has been on a British Government Foresight Panel and a House of Lords Select committee. He is currently on the editorial board of 5 academic journals, including section editor for PLoS Genetics. Since 1990 he has been an invited speaker (including keynote speaker) at 199 international conferences, including Gordon, Keystone, and EMBO meetings, of which he has also been an elected chair. He was on the executive board of EU Network of Excellence The Epigenome and is co-coordinator of the NoE EpiGeneSys, and advisor to the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).

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