Research Field: Epigenetics, Ageing, & Exercise
A key question in biology is to understand why and how we age. Ageing is associated with a
progressive loss of muscle function, which is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases.
A/Prof Eynon’s group is utilising innovative epigenetic analysis to study the muscle clocks of
young and old people. Using more than 1000 human muscle samples and a machine learning
algorithm the group can now predict an unknown sample’s age by looking at their epigenetic
Epigenetics describes chemical modifications caused by lifestyle changes that regulate our
genes without changing the inherited DNA code. The muscle epigenetic clock enables Nir to
work out how people can slow down their ageing processes by making changes to their
exercise and diet. Ultimately the findings will support the development of new (evidence-
based) health interventions to keep Australians healthier for longer.
Nir’s community-based outreach includes extensive national and international media
interviews, public talks, and encouraging the general public to be more informed and engaged
with healthy ageing programs.