The Murphy Lab focuses on studying heritable epigenetic effects that are induced by various environmental stimuli. One of the latest projects is Cannabis-Induced Potential Heritability of Epigenetic Revisions in Sperm, or CIPHERS, which focuses on the heritable epigenetic changes associated with cannabis use in males.
For my project this summer, I will be analyzing genes that are critical to certain aspects of development in order to see if there is differential methylation in the progenitor (F0) and offspring(F1) generations. While I cannot go into specifics at this project, I can provide a general overview of expectations and potential significance of this project. This work is essential to the overall focus of CIPHERS as it could provide evidence for cannabis use inducing transgenerational epigenetic changes that affect the viability of both progenitor and offspring. The data generated by CIPHERS could in turn be used to guide policymakers and the general public in the epigenetic effects of cannabis use. In the future, I will likely be working on the F2 generation for these genes in order to solidify that cannabis exposure is in fact a transgenerational stimulus.