Neil Youngson

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Dr Youngson’s main scientific interest has been in non-Mendelian mechanisms of phenotype transmission in mammals and the evolutionary and health implications of these phenomena. He completed his PhD with Professor Anne Ferguson-Smith at Cambridge University U.K. in 2005. From 2006-2012 he did research in the group of Professor Emma Whitelaw at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane. In both of these laboratories Dr Youngson worked on mouse models of non-genetic inheritance, making discoveries in how epigenetic molecules can be inherited between generations to influence the phenotype of offspring. With his move to UNSW in 2012 to the lab of Professor Margaret Morris his expertise is now being applied to rodent models of human disease, in particular obesity. It has long been known that whether an individual develops obesity or not is due to complex interactions between the environment (such as diet and exercise) and the genome. However, recent evidence from the Morris Laboratory in the School of Medical Sciences, and others has shown that the life-time experiences of an individual’s mother and father also influence the risk of developing obesity. This discovery is especially interesting as it suggests that what we inherit from our parents is more than just DNA, and that extra factor can cause disease. Currently the best explanation for these phenomena is the involvement of epigenetic molecules which can be transferred between generations and can persist for the life-time of an individual. Understanding the role of epigenetic molecules in obesity is an exciting new area for disease research and is likely to provide new avenues for therapeutic innovation.

Publications

Journal articles
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Cespiati A; Youngson NA; Tourna A; Valenti L, 2020, 'GENETICS AND EPIGENETICS IN THE CLINIC: PRECISION MEDICINE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF FATTY LIVER DISEASE.', Curr Pharm Des, vol. 26, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612826666200122151251
2020
Bertoldo MJ; Listijono DR; Ho WHJ; Riepsamen AH; Goss DM; Richani D; Jin XL; Mahbub S; Campbell JM; Habibalahi A; Loh WGN; Youngson NA; Maniam J; Wong ASA; Selesniemi K; Bustamante S; Li C; Zhao Y; Marinova MB; Kim LJ; Lau L; Wu RM; Mikolaizak AS; Araki T; Le Couteur DG; Turner N; Morris MJ; Walters KA; Goldys E; O'Neill C; Gilchrist RB; Sinclair DA; Homer HA; Wu LE, 2020, 'NAD+ Repletion Rescues Female Fertility during Reproductive Aging', Cell Reports, vol. 30, pp. 1670 - 1681.e7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.01.058
2020
Morris MJ; Hesson LB; Youngson NA, 2020, 'Non-CpG methylation biases bisulphite PCR towards low or unmethylated mitochondrial DNA: recommendations for the field.', Environ Epigenet, vol. 6, pp. dvaa001, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eep/dvaa001
2020
Bertoldo MJ; Listijono DR; Ho W-HJ; Riepsamen AH; Goss DM; Richani D; Jin XL; Mahbub S; Campbell JM; Habibalahi A; Loh W-GN; Youngson NA; Maniam J; Wong ASA; Selesniemi K; Bustamante S; Li C; Zhao Y; Marinova MB; Kim L-J; Lau L; Wu RM; Mikolaizak AS; Araki T; Le Couteur DG; Turner N; Morris MJ; Walters KA; Goldys E; O'Neill C; Gilchrist RB; Sinclair DA; Homer HA; Wu LE, 2020, 'NAD(+) Repletion Rescues Female Fertility during Reproductive Aging', CELL REPORTS, vol. 30, pp. 1670 - +, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.01.058
2020
Zieba J; Uddin GM; Youngson NA; Karl T; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Long-term behavioural effects of maternal obesity in C57BL/6J mice', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 199, pp. 306 - 313, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.11.004
2019
Bajracharya R; Youngson NA; Ballard JWO, 2019, 'Dietary macronutrient management to treat mitochondrial dysfunction in parkinson’s disease', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 20, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081850
2019
Youngson NA; Mezbah Uddin G; Das A; Martinez C; Connaughton HS; Whiting S; Yu J; Sinclair DA; John Aitken R; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Impacts of obesity, maternal obesity and nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation on sperm quality in mice', Reproduction, vol. 158, pp. 169 - 179, http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-18-0574
2019
Youngson N; Castino M; Stuart A; Kershaw K; Holmes N; Waters P; Morris K; Clemens K, 2019, A natural antisense to brain-derived neurotrophic factor impairs extinction of drug seeking, http://dx.doi.org10.1101/851949
2019
Aw WC; Towarnicki SG; Melvin RG; Youngson NA; Garvin MR; Hu Y; Nielsen S; Thomas T; Pickford R; Bustamante S; Vila-Sanjurjo A; Smyth GK; Ballard JWO, 2018, 'Genotype to phenotype: Diet-by-mitochondrial DNA haplotype interactions drive metabolic flexibility and organismal fitness', PLoS Genetics, vol. 14, pp. e1007735, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007735
2018
Gokarn R; Solon-Biet S; Youngson NA; Wahl D; Cogger VC; McMahon AC; Cooney GJ; Ballard JWO; Raubenheimer D; Morris MJ; Simpson SJ; Le Couteur DG, 2018, 'The Relationship between Dietary Macronutrients and Hepatic Telomere Length in Aging Mice', Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol. 73, pp. 446 - 449, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx186
2018
Hsu CL; Chou CH; Huang SC; Lin CY; Lin MY; Tung CC; Lin CY; Lai IP; Zou YF; Youngson NA; Lin SP; Yang CH; Chen SK; Gau SSF; Huang HS, 2018, 'Analysis of experience-regulated transcriptome and imprintome during critical periods of mouse visual system development reveals spatiotemporal dynamics', Human Molecular Genetics, vol. 27, pp. 1039 - 1054, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy023
2018
Castino MR; Baker-Andresen D; Ratnu VS; Shevchenko G; Morris KV; Bredy TW; Youngson NA; Clemens KJ, 2018, 'Persistent histone modifications at the BDNF and Cdk-5 promoters following extinction of nicotine-seeking in rats', Genes, Brain and Behavior, vol. 17, pp. 98 - 106, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12421
2018
Morris MJ; Hesson LB; Poulos RC; Ward RL; Wong JWH; Youngson NA, 2018, 'Reduced nuclear DNA methylation and mitochondrial transcript changes in adenomas do not associate with mtDNA methylation', Biomarker Research, vol. 6, pp. 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40364-018-0151-x
2018
Youngson NA; Morris MJ; Ballard B, 2017, 'The mechanisms mediating the antiepileptic effects of the ketogenic diet, and potential opportunities for improvement with metabolism-altering drugs', Seizure, vol. 52, pp. 15 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2017.09.005
2017
Youngson NA; Lecomte V; Maloney CA; Morris KV; Morris MJ, 2017, 'RNA-SEQUENCING TO DISCOVER NOVEL LONG-NON CODING RNA (LNCRNA) ASSOCIATED WITH OBESITY IN RAT LIVER', in JOURNAL OF GENE MEDICINE, WILEY, Univ Technol Sydney, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, Vol. 20, presented at Joint 10th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian-Gene-and-Cell-Therapy-Society (AGCTS) and Australasian-Society-for-Stem-Cell-Research (ASSCR), Univ Technol Sydney, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, 24 May 2017 - 26 May 2017, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000426528300089&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2017
Uddin GM; Youngson NA; Doyle BM; Sinclair DA; Morris MJ, 2017, 'Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplementation ameliorates the impact of maternal obesity in mice: Comparison with exercise', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-14866-z
2017
Youngson N; Lecomte V; Maloney C; Leung P; Liu J; Hesson L; Luciani F; Krause L; Morris M, 2016, 'Obesity-induced sperm DNA methylation changes at satellite repeats are reprogrammed in rat offspring', Asian Journal of Andrology, vol. 18, pp. 930 - 936, http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.163190
2016
Uddin GM; Youngson NA; Sinclair DA; Morris MJ, 2016, 'Head to Head Comparison of Short-Term Treatment with the NAD Precursor Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) and 6 Weeks of Exercise in Obese Female Mice', FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.13389/fphar.2016.00258
2016
Daxinger L; Oey H; Isbel L; Whitelaw NC; Youngson NA; Spurling A; Vonk KKD; Whitelaw E, 2016, 'Hypomethylation of ERVs in the sperm of mice haploinsufficient for the histone methyltransferase Setdb1 correlates with a paternal effect on phenotype', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep25004
2016
Maniam J; Antoniadis CP; Youngson NA; Sinha JK; Morris MJ, 2016, 'Sugar Consumption Produces Effects Similar to Early Life Stress Exposure on Hippocampal Markers of Neurogenesis and Stress Response', FRONTIERS IN MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.5589/fnmol.2015.00086
2016
Uddin GM; Youngson NA; Sinclair DA; Morris MJ, 2016, 'Head to head comparison of short-term treatment with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and 6 weeks of exercise in obese female mice', Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00258
2016
Maniam J; Antoniadis CP; Youngson NA; Sinha JK; Morris MJ, 2016, 'Sugar consumption produces effects similar to early life stress exposure on hippocampal markers of neurogenesis and stress response', Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2015.00086
2016
Castino M; Youngson N; Baker-Andresen D; Ratnu V; Bredy T; Clemens K, 2015, 'Transcriptional and epigenetic factors underlying the extinction of nicotine-seeking behaviour in the rat', in JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY, WILEY-BLACKWELL, Cairns, AUSTRALIA, Vol. 134, pp. 349 - 349, presented at 25th Biennial Meeting of the International-Society-for-Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific-Society-for-Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian-Neuroscience-Society, Cairns, AUSTRALIA, 23 August 2015 - 27 August 2015, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000360206300896&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2015
Gokarn R; Solon-Biet S; Youngson N; Cogger V; McMahon AC; Morris M; Simpson S; Le Couteur D, 2015, 'Low Dietary Protein to Carbohydrate Ratios Are Linked With Longer Telomere Lengths in Mice', in GERONTOLOGIST, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, Vol. 55, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000374222704652&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2015
O. Ballard JW; Youngson NA, 2015, 'Review: Can diet influence the selective advantage of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes?', Bioscience Reports, vol. 35, http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20150232
2015
Ng SF; Lin RCY; Maloney CA; Youngson NA; Owens JA; Morris MJ, 2014, 'Paternal high-fat diet consumption induces common changes in the transcriptomes of retroperitoneal adipose and pancreatic islet tissues in female rat offspring', FASEB Journal, vol. 28, pp. 1830 - 1841, http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.13-244046
2014
Nelson AC; Cauceglia JW; Merkley SD; Youngson NA; Oler AJ; Nelson RJ; Cairns BR; Whitelaw E; Potts WK, 2013, 'Reintroducing domesticated wild mice to sociality induces adaptive transgenerational effects on MUP expression', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 110, pp. 19848 - 19853, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1310427110
2013
Reddington JP; Perricone SM; Nestor CE; Reichmann J; Youngson NA; Suzuki M; Reinhardt D; Dunican DS; Prendergast JG; Mjoseng H; Ramsahoye BH; Whitelaw E; Greally JM; Adams IR; Bickmore WA; Meehan RR, 2013, 'Redistribution of H3K27me3 upon DNA hypomethylation results in de-repression of Polycomb target genes', Genome Biology, vol. 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2013-14-3-r25
2013
Lecomte V; Youngson NA; Maloney CA; Morris MJ, 2013, 'Parental programming: How can we improve study design to discern the molecular mechanisms?', BioEssays, vol. 35, pp. 787 - 793, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bies.201300051
2013
Youngson NA; Epp T; Roberts AR; Daxinger L; Ashe A; Huang E; Lester KL; Harten SK; Kay GF; Cox T; Matthews JM; Chong S; Whitelaw E, 2013, 'No evidence for cumulative effects in a Dnmt3b hypomorph across multiple generations', Mammalian Genome, vol. 24, pp. 206 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-013-9451-5
2013
Youngson NA; Lin P-C; Lin S-S, 2013, 'The convergence of autophagy, small RNA and the stress response – implications for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in plants', BioMolecular Concepts, vol. 5, pp. 1 - 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/bmc-2013-0032
2013
Youngson NA, 2012, 'Challenges and future prospects for non-genetic inheritance', Non-Genetic Inheritance, vol. 1, pp. 1 - 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/ngi-2012-0001
2012
Youngson NA; Chong S; Whitelaw E, 2011, 'Gene silencing is an ancient means of producing multiple phenotypes from the same genotype: Common mechanisms and functions in epigenetic processes can be seen throughout all life forms', BioEssays, vol. 33, pp. 95 - 99, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bies.201000122
2011
Youngson N; Oey H; Whitelaw E, 2011, 'PATERNAL EFFECTS IN MICE CAUSED BY DICER OR DNMT1 HAPLOINSUFFICIENCY ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGES IN SPERMATOZOAL MIRNA EXPRESSION PROFILE', in JOURNAL OF ANDROLOGY, AMER SOC ANDROLOGY, INC, Hyatt Regency Montreal, Montreal, CANADA, pp. 94 - 95, presented at 36th Annual Meeting of Genes and Harmones - State-of-the-Art Reproductive and Sexual Development, Hyatt Regency Montreal, Montreal, CANADA, 02 April 2011 - 05 April 2011, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000287549800146&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2011
Youngson NA; Whitelaw E, 2011, 'The effects of acquired paternal obesity on the next generation', Asian Journal of Andrology, vol. 13, pp. 195 - 196, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aja.2010.163
2011
Oey HM; Youngson NA; Whitelaw E, 2011, 'The characterisation of piRNA-related 19mers in the mouse', BMC Genomics, vol. 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-12-315
2011
Roberts AR; Blewitt ME; Youngson NA; Whitelaw E; Chong S, 2011, 'Reduced dosage of the modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming Dnmt1, Dnmt3L, SmcHD1 and Foxo3a has no detectable effect on mouse telomere length in vivo', Chromosoma, vol. 120, pp. 377 - 385, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00412-011-0318-9
2011
Youngson NA; Vickaryous N; Van Der Horst A; Epp T; Harten S; Fleming JS; Khanna KK; De Kretser DM; Whitelaw E, 2011, 'A missense mutation in the transcription factor Foxo3a causes teratomas and oocyte abnormalities in mice', Mammalian Genome, vol. 22, pp. 235 - 248, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-011-9317-7
2011
Tierling S; Gasparoni G; Youngson N; Paulsen M, 2009, 'The Begain gene marks the centromeric boundary of the imprinted region on mouse chromosome 12', Mammalian Genome, vol. 20, pp. 699 - 710, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-009-9205-6
2009
Li X; Ito M; Zhou F; Youngson N; Zuo X; Leder P; Ferguson-Smith AC, 2008, 'A Maternal-Zygotic Effect Gene, Zfp57, Maintains Both Maternal and Paternal Imprints', Developmental Cell, vol. 15, pp. 547 - 557, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2008.08.014
2008
Youngson NA; Whitelaw E, 2008, 'Transgenerational epigenetic effects', Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, vol. 9, pp. 233 - 257, http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.genom.9.081307.164445
2008
Chong S; Youngson NA; Whitelaw E, 2007, 'Heritable germline epimutation is not the same as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance [5]', Nature Genetics, vol. 39, pp. 574 - 575, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng0507-574
2007
Chong S; Vickaryous N; Ashe A; Zamudio N; Youngson N; Hemley S; Stopka T; Skoultchi A; Matthews J; Scott HS; De Kretser D; O'Bryan M; Blewitt M; Whitelaw E, 2007, 'Modifiers of epigenetic reprogramming show paternal effects in the mouse', Nature Genetics, vol. 39, pp. 614 - 622, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng2031
2007
Youngson NA; Kocialkowski S; Peel N; Ferguson-Smith AC, 2005, 'A small family of sushi-class retrotransposon-derived genes in mammals and their relation to genomic imprinting', Journal of Molecular Evolution, vol. 61, pp. 481 - 490, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00239-004-0332-0
2005
Seitz H; Royo H; Lin SP; Youngson N; Ferguson-Smith AC; Cavaillé J, 2004, 'Imprinted small RNA genes', Biological Chemistry, vol. 385, pp. 905 - 911, http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/BC.2004.118
2004
Youngson NA; Kocialowski S; Peel N; Ferguson-Smith AC, 2004, 'A small family of LTR retrotransposon-derived genes in mammals and their relation to genomic imprinting', in GENETICAL RESEARCH, CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, Univ Coll London, Inst Child Hlth, London, ENGLAND, pp. 236 - 236, presented at 15th Genetics-Societys Mammalian Genetics and Development Workshop, Univ Coll London, Inst Child Hlth, London, ENGLAND, 22 November 2004 - 23 November 2004, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000235431000018&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2004
Ferguson-Smith AC; Lin SP; Youngson N, 2004, 'Regulation of Gene Activity and Repression: A Consideration of Unifying Themes', Current Topics in Developmental Biology, vol. 60, pp. 197 - 213, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0070-2153(04)60006-8
2004
Lin SP; Youngson N; Takada S; Seitz H; Reik W; Paulsen M; Cavaille J; Ferguson-Smith AC, 2003, 'Asymmetric regulation of imprinting on the maternal and paternal chromosomes at the Dlk1-Gtl2 imprinted cluster on mouse chromosome 12', Nature Genetics, vol. 35, pp. 97 - 102, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng1233
2003
Seitz H; Youngson N; Lin SP; Dalbert S; Paulsen M; Bachellerie JP; Ferguson-Smith AC; Cavaillé J, 2003, 'Imprinted microRNA genes transcribed antisense to a reciprocally imprinted retrotransposon-like gene', Nature Genetics, vol. 34, pp. 261 - 262, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng1171
2003
Ferguson-Smith A; Lin SP; Tsai CE; Youngson N; Tevendale M, 2003, 'Genomic imprinting - Insights from studies in mice', Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, vol. 14, pp. 43 - 49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1084-9521(02)00171-4
2003
Paulsen M; Takada S; Youngson NA; Benchaib M; Charlier C; Segers K; Georges M; Ferguson-Smith AC, 2001, 'Comparative sequence analysis of the imprinted Dlk1-Gtl2 locus in three mammalian species reveals highly conserved genomic elements and refines comparison with the Igf2-H19 region', Genome Research, vol. 11, pp. 2085 - 2094, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.206901
2001
Meiklejohn DJ; Riches Z; Youngson N; Vicker MA, 2000, 'The contribution of factor VII gene polymorphisms to longevity in Scottish nonagenarians', Thrombosis and Haemostasis, vol. 83, pp. 519
2000
Meiklejohn DJ; Riches Z; Youngson N; Vickers M, 1999, 'The contribution of factor VII (FVII) gene polymorphisms to longevity.', in BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY, BLACKWELL SCIENCE LTD, pp. 38 - 38, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000080134600050&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
1999
Meiklejohn DJ; Riches Z; Youngson N; Vickers M, 1999, 'The contribution of factor VII (FVII) gene polymorphisms to longevity', in THROMBOSIS AND HAEMOSTASIS, F K SCHATTAUER VERLAG GMBH, pp. 187 - 187, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000085665900586&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
1999