Professor Richard Saffery
Prof Richard Saffery (BSc, PhD, Grad Dip Law (IP)) is a molecular and cellular biologist and Principle Research Fellow at MCRI. He is also Deputy Director (Biosciences) for theGeneration Victoria (GenV) initiative.
Richard’s ‘Early Origins of Chronic Disease’ agenda spans pregnancy to adolescence and includes conditions such as childhood allergy, obesity andpredictors of adult cardiovascular health and diabetes.
Richard has over 250 publications in the field of early life programming and epigenetics. This includes novel discoveries on the factors that regulate the early life human epigenome and the role epigenetics in childhood allergy and immune development. His team have an overarching goal to understand how the modern environment interacts with underlying genetic variation to impact health, particularly in early life.
Having led numerous longitudinal pregnancy cohorts in Australia, the EU and more recently China, Richard has a strong interest in understanding why young Aboriginal populations appear overrepresented in diabetes and chronic kidney disease, particularly via parental transmission of risk across generations.
Early in 2008, Sue Clark brought a handful of epigenetics researchers from Australia together to form the Australian Epigenetics Alliance. The AEpiA has now grown to a membership of over 600, with members spanning not only Australasia, but the globe. In February 2021, our Victorian local organising committee hosted our eighth flagship Epigenetics conference, online for the first time. Our NSW team is now busy preparing for Epigenetics 2022, which will be held in September in Kingscliff, NSW.