The Department of Epigenetics consists of three independent research groups. The primary scientific goal of the department is to unravel basic epigenetic mechanisms in normal development and disease. The laboratory headed by Thomas Jenuwein focuses on histone modifications and heterochromatin formation. The group investigates single molecule alterations as well as genome-wide signatures for heterochromatin. The laboratory headed by Andrea Pichler studies post-translational protein modifications, in particular modifications with ubiquitin and Sumo. The laboratory of Andrew Pospisilik investigates the definition and contribution of epigenetic regulatory systems in complex diseases such as diabetes and obesity.