Jean-Lou Chameau, the former president of the California Institute of Technology, now heads the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia.

UCI epigenetics center hosts Saudi university president

In 2014, UCI’s Center for Epigenetics & Metabolism and the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia forged a partnership to advance research on how genes and metabolism shape our bodies and minds. This far-reaching effort shows the potential to provide a blueprint for personalized medicine, and on June 23, KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau visited UCI to see how the collaboration is proceeding. “The partnering investigators are on the leading edge of research. You can feel the excitement,” he said. The UCI team’s expertise in metabolism, nutrition, behavior and neuroscience complements KAUST’s Environmental Epigenetics Program. An exchange program for students, postdoctoral fellows and sabbatical professors is helping to further advancements in the field. In addition, the partners have organized high-profile international symposia on epigenetics, both at UCI and at KAUST. These combined symposia, as well as courses and workshops on epigenetic technologies, are expected to proliferate. “It’s been an amazing partnership,” said Paolo Sassone-Corsi, director of UCI’s Center for Epigenetics & Metabolism and the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry. “We are delighted that President Chameau has visited our center so he can see first-hand how much we value this collaboration. Our collective work will have a critical influence on the future development of personalized medicine and population health research, both here and in Saudi Arabia.”