The impact of the physical and social environment on epigenetic modifications, telomere length and the development of breast cancer

Recent studies have shown that interactions between beings and the environment, including social practices and human behavior, have an impact on the susceptibility to develop chronic diseases such as cancer, through epigenetic modifications or telomere shortening. The term epigenetic applies to the modifications that regulate gene expression without modifying the DNA sequence. Furthermore, telomere is a repetitive region at the end of each chromosome to protect them against deterioration caused by aging, stress, environment, etc. The aim of this project is to determine how the chronic and acute stress interacts in our body increasing susceptibility to breast cancer. The psychosocial environment might influence the epigenetic modifications and/or telomere length, thereby increasing the risk of developing breast cancer. The main benefit for the partner organization is to increase the knowledge they have on breast cancer, mainly concerning the interactions between human beings and the environment, including social practices and human behavior.

Faculty Supervisor:

Chantal Bouffard


Olivier Martin


Myriad Genetics Canada Ltd.




Life sciences




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