Speaker Profile

Rebecca J. Oakey

Job TitleProfessor of Epigenetics

Company NameKing’s College London



  • 1982-1986 BSc (Hons) Applied Biological Science UWE
  • 1986-1989 D. Phil. in Biochemistry, University of Oxford


Post-doctoral Training:

  • 1990-1992 Research Fellow: Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
  • 1992-1994 Research Fellow: University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA.
  • 1994-1996 Research Fellow: Fox Chase Cancer Center, PA, USA. 


Faculty Appointments:

  • 1996-2001 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
  • 2002-2006 Lecturer, Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics, King’s College London, UK.
  • 2006-2009 Senior Lecturer
  • 2009-2012 Reader in Epigenetics
  • 2012-present Professor of Epigenetics
  • Mar 2016-Jul 2017 Interim Head of Division of Genetics & Mol Medicine


Selected publications (from 77)

1.Wood, A.J., Schulz, R., Woodfine, K., Koltowska, K., Beechey, C.V., Peters, J., Bourc’his, D. and Oakey, R.J. Regulation of alternative polyadenylation by genomic imprinting. Genes and Development 22: 1141-1146, 2008. PMID: 18451104.

2.Schulz, R., McCole, R.B., Woodfine, K., Wood, A.J., Chahal, M., Monk, D., Moore, G.E. and Oakey, R.J. Transcript- and tissue-specific imprinting of a tumour suppressor gene. Human Molecular Genetics 18(1): 118-127, 2009. PMID: 18836209. 

3.Schulz, R., Proughon, C., Bestor, T.H., Woodfine, K., Lin, C-H., Lin S-P., Prissette, M., Oakey, R.J. and Bourc’his, D. The Parental Non-equivalence of imprinting control regions during mammalian development and evolution. PLoS Genetics 6(11): e1001214, 2010. PMID: 21124941.

4.McCole, R.B., Loughran, N.B., Chahal, M., Roberts, R.G., Fernandes, L.P., Fraternali, F., O’Connell, M.J. and Oakey, R.J. A case-by-case analysis of four imprinted retrogenes. Evolution. 65 (5): 1413-1427, 2011. PMID: 21166792

5.Monk, D., Arnaud, P., Frost, J. Wood, A.J., Cowley, M., Martin-Trullijo, A., Guillaumet-Adkins, A., Iglesias-Platas, I., Camprubi, C., Bourc’his, D, Feil, R, Moore, G.E. and Oakey, R.J. Human imprinted retrogenes exhibit non-canonical imprint chromatin signatures and reside in non-imprinted host genes. Nucleic Acids Research. 39(11):4577-86, 2011. PMID: 21300645.

6.Cowley M., Wood, A.J., Böhm, S., Schulz, R. and Oakey, R.J. Epigenetic control of alternative mRNA processing at the imprinted Herc3/Nap1l5 locus. Nucleic Acids Research. 40(18):8917-26, 2012. PMID: 22790983.

7.Proudhon C., Duffié R., Ajjan S., Cowley M., Iranzo J., Carbajosa G., Saadeh H., Holland M.H., Oakey R.J., Rakyan V.K., Schulz R. and Bourc’his D. Protection against de novo methylation is instrumental in maintaining parent-of-origin methylation inherited from the gametes. Molecular Cell, 28;47(6):909-20, 2012. PMID: 22902559.

8.Puszyk, W., Down, T., Grimwade, D., Chomienne, C., Oakey, R.J., Solomon, E. & Guidez, F. The epigenetic regulator PLZF represses L1 retrotransposition in germ and progenitor cells. EMBO J. 2013 Jul 3;32(13):1941-52. PMID: 23727884

9.Prickett, A., Barkas, N., McCole, R.B., Hughes, S., Amante, S.M., Schulz, R., and Oakey, R.J. Genomewide and parental allele specific analysis of CTCF and Cohesin binding sites in mouse brain reveals a tissue-specific binding pattern and an association with differentially methylated regions. Genome Research 2013. 23(10):1624-1635.  PMID:23804403.

10.Cowley,M., Garfield, A.S., Madon-Simon, M., Charalambous, M., Clarkson, R.W. Smalley, M.J., Kendrick, H., Isles, A.R., Parry, A.J., Carney, S., Oakey, R.J., Heisler, L.K., Moorwood, K., Wolf, J.B and Ward,A. Developmental Programming Mediated by Complementary Roles of Imprinted Grb10 in Mother and Pup. PLoS Biology, 2014. PMID: 24586114.

11.Prickett, A.R., Ishida, M, Böhm, S., Frost, J.M., Puszyk, W., Abu-Amero S., Stanier P., Schulz R., Moore G.E. and Oakey R.J. Genomewide methylation analysis in Silver Russell syndrome, Human Genetics, 2015 Mar;134(3):317-32. PMID:25563730.

12.Patten, M.M., Cowley, M., Oakey, R.J. and Feil, R. Regulatory links between imprinted genes: evolutionary predictions and consequences. Proc Biol Sci. 2016 Feb 10;283(1824). pii: 20152760. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2760. Review. PMID: 26842569


Ongoing Research Support

2017-2018: Project Grant. “Investigating metabolism in pheocytochromatomas and paragangliomas. Principal Investigator: Rebecca Oakey, Co-investigator Louise Izatt & Prodromos Chatzikyriakou. Bernice Bibby Foundation.

Project Grant: “Investigating the effects of folic acid on the neural tube defect methylome”. Co Investigator: Rebecca Oakey. (PI: Phillip Stanier, UCL). Medical Research Council: 31/10/13-30/06/17.

2015-2019: Sponsor: RJO. BECAS CHILE (Ministry of Education, Chile) funded PhD studentship awarded to Stephania Contreras: “The effect of hydroxyurea treatment on DNA methylation”.

2016-2019: Sponsor: RJO. GSTT Biomedical Research Centre funded PhD studentship awarded to: Prodromos Chatzikyriakou “Tissue specificity and epigenetic analysis of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas”.

2015-2019: Sponsor: RJO. KCL Health Schools Studentship awarded to Samuele Amante “Epigenetic mechanisms in gene regulation”.


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