The German epigenome programme ‘DEEP’ (2012 – 2017) creates an interdisciplinary research platform of 17 subprojects linking 21 epigenomic mapping and functional analysis groups across Germany. As the German contribution to IHEC, the ‘International Human Epigenome Consortium’, DEEP will produce und functionally interpret 70 reference epigenomes of selected human (and murine) cells and tissues using high-throughput technologies and state of the art bioinformatics analysis.

Deep is assembled on three interacting scientific platforms: production of epigenomic mapping-data, bioinformatics analysis and method-development and functional analysis with disease-orientation. The disease-oriented platform will contribute expertise to isolate highly purified cell types/tissues for epigenomic mapping and will analyse cell type-/tissue-associated aspects of the complex diseases. The epigenomic sequencing units will generate primary epigenomic mapping-data that will be submitted to a central data collection unit and interpreted in close collaboration with central bioinformatics units responsible for high quality public data deposition and deep functional interpretation. A programme coordination and communication platform will monitor the quality controlled data generation and foster interactions between bioinformatics and experimental analysis groups across platforms. DEEP will further coordinate its activities with IHEC and other epigenetic initiatives to establish unified standards for epigenomic data and for scientific exchange. Along this line DEEP will support IHEC in its dissemination activities through a DEEP associated coordination office.

DEEP is funded with approximately 20 Mio € by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Jörn Walter, Department of Epigenetics, Saarland University/ Germany.

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