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Tom Stubbs, PhD has a background in cellular biochemistry, molecular biology, and epigenetics. With his extensive background, he created an epigenetics company called Chronomics in December 2017 to help people lead a quality lifestyle based on their results.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: Hi, guys, welcome to another episode of the Body Clock podcast. Today, I’m delighted to have Dr. Tom Stubbs on our podcast. Hi, Tom. How you doing?
Dr. Tom Stubbs: Fancy. Thank you. Thank you for having me on the podcast. Pleasure to be here.
Dr. Sohaib Imtiaz: And I’m glad you could come on. So you’re based in Oxford right now. So I have been following you for about a year and I think you’re doing some very interesting and diverse stuff with genetics in the field of epigenetics, which I’m sure you’ll be explaining to our listeners in this podcast. But I just want to explain Dr. Stubbs’s background, which is quite proficient. So he’s been at the University of Oxford where he studied cellular biochemistry and molecular biology. He then went on to do a PH.D. at the University of Cambridge and is specializing in computational biology, machine learning, epigenetics, and in December 2017, he founded Chronomics, which is an epigenetics company.
So a very comprehensive background there and a lot of words, which I’m sure a lot of our listeners probably aren’t aware of. But I would describe it as working in the future of health. So, Tom, it would be very nice if you could kind of explain what you’re doing with Chronomics and how you got involved in the epigenetics feel and lifestyle, which will be helping kind of consumers and patients take more control of their health. So if you could do that for our listeners that would be great.
Dr. Tom Stubbs: Sure. Absolutely. Thank you. Save that introduction. So I guess as a bit of background, we’re all used to thinking about genetics as that information, that DNA that we get from our mother and our father, and that’s fixed from birth, so does not change. And it governs whether we’re going to have things like blue eyes or curly hair or be at risk for certain inherited diseases. We also know that there are people on the planet that share the exact same genetic material, so identical twins. But there are many instances where one twin gets sick, for instance, developing breast cancer when the genetically identical twin does not. Why is this? And the answer is epigenetics, which is the science of how our environment and our lifestyle affect how our DNA is controlled.
From birth, epigenetic signals influenced by factors such as smoking, sleep and stress are dictating the tracks that all life is heading down. Now, what’s exciting is that unlike this genetic information that’s fixed from birth, our epigenetic information is dynamic. This means that if we find out about factors affecting our health early enough, we can change tracks to live healthier for longer. So, as Sohaib kindly mentioned my background, I conducted PH.D. and postdoctoral research with some of the leaders in the field of epigenetics research, and I, including Professor Wolf Reik and Professor Shankar Balasubramanian. And I built epigenetic predictors of lifestyle factors on aging. During this time,