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Past Scientists

Associate Professor Catherine Suter

A/Prof Cath Suter worked at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute from 2004 to 2017 as the head of the Epigenetics Laboratory.

A/Prof Suter graduated with a BAppSc (Biomedical) from the University of Technology in 1993 and a BSc (Hons, Class I) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1995. She received her PhD in 2001, also from UNSW, for work on breast cancer metastasis. During her postdoctoral studies, she moved into the field of epigenetics and reported the first cases of germline epimutation in humans. She continues to investigate these phenomena and how they arise. 

Cath performed research into the epigenetic contribution to variation and common human disease. She has a special interest in mammalian epigenetic inheritance, particularly in the influence of fetal nutrition on germline epigenetic states. 

Professor Cath Suter and her team also studied how the health or lifestyle choices of parents can have life-long effects on the health of offspring, independently of the genes they inherit.  For example, the team have discovered that obesity in either parent can ’program’ an increased risk of metabolic defects in children, even if the children do not become obese themselves. Remarkably the defects can be passed on further, to grandchildren. The team was focused on understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of parental programming in order to modify its damaging effects. 

Learn more about Cath's landmark Obesity Research Breakthrough