Member Listing


Ionel Sandovici


Metabolic Research Laboratories




Post Doctoral

Research Summary

My current work is focused on two research areas:

1. Understanding the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the so-called “nutritional programming” of adult diseases, a phenomenon by which suboptimal diet during critical periods of development is associated with risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity in later life. I’m particularly interested in uncovering the role of altered promoter-enhancer interactions in this phenomenon.

2. I’m also studying the molecular mechanisms by which the imprinted insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) gene regulates the normal development of pancreas and placental vasculature during late gestation. For this purpose I’m using novel in vivo conditional deletions in the mouse combined with in vitro assays.

I’m a member of Miguel Constancia’s group and I’m currently funded by the MRC-MDU.


Developmental Biology, Epigenetics, Genetics

Selected Publications

1. Sferruzzi-Perri AN, Sandovici I, Constancia M & Fowden AL (2017) Placental phenotype and the insulin-like growth factors: resource allocation to fetal growth. J Physiol, 2595:5057-5093. PMID: 28337745. PMCID:PMC5538190.

2. Sandovici I, Hammerle CM, Cooper WN, Smith NH, Tarry-Adkins JL, Dunmore BJ, Bauer J, Andrews SR, Yeo GS, Ozanne SE & Constância M (2016). Ageing is associated with molecular signatures of inflammation and type 2 diabetes in rat pancreatic islets. Diabetologia, 59:502-11. PMID:26699651. PMCID:PMC4742511.

3. Ferron SR, Radford EJ, Domingo-Muelas A, Kleine I, Ramme A, Gray D, Sandovici I, Constância M, Ward A, Menheniott TR & Ferguson-Smith AC (2015). Differential genomic imprinting regulates paracrine and autocrine roles of IGF2 in mouse adult neurogenesis. Nat Commun 6:8265. PMID: 26369386. PMCID:PMC4579569.

4. Sandovici I, Hammerle CM, Ozanne SE & Constância M (2013). Developmental and environmental epigenetic programming of the endocrine pancreas: consequences for type 2 diabetes. Cell Mol Life Sci, 70:1575-95. PMID: 23463236.

5. Sandovici I, Hoelle K, Angiolini E & Constância M. (2012). Placental adaptations to the maternal-fetal environment: implications for fetal growth and developmental programming. Reprod Biomed Online, 25:68-89. PMID: 22560117.

6. Sandovici I*, Smith NH*, Dekker-Nitert M, Ackers-Johnson M, Uribe-Lewis S, Ito Y, Jones RH, Marquez VE, Cairns WJ, Tadayyon M, O’Neill LP, Murrell A, Ling C, Constância M* & Ozanne S*. (2011). Maternal diet and aging alter the epigenetic control of a promoter-enhancer interaction at Hnf4a gene in rat pancreatic islets. Proc Natl. Acad Sci USA, 108:5449-54. PMID: 21385945. PMCID: PMC3069181.

7. Sandovici I, Kassovska-Bratinova S, Vaughan JE, Stewart R, Leppert M & Sapienza C (2006) Human imprinted chromosomal regions are historical hot-spots of recombination. PLoS Genet, 2:e101. PMID: 16839189. PMCID:PMC2614013.

8. Constância M, Angiolini E, Sandovici I, Smith P, Smith R, Kelsey G, Dean W, Ferguson-Smith A, Sibley CP, Reik W & Fowden A (2005). Adaptation of nutrient supply to fetal demand in the mouse involves interaction between the Igf2 gene and placental transporter systems. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 102:19219-24. PMID: 16365304. PMCID:PMC1316882.

9. Sandovici I, Kassovska-Bratinova S, Loredo-Osti JC, Leppert M, Suarez A, Stewart R, Bautista FD, Schiraldi M &Sapienza C (2005). Interindividual variability and parent of origin DNA methylation differences at specific human Alu elements. Hum Mol Genet, 14:2135-43. PMID: 15972727.

10. Sandovici I, Leppert M, Hawk PR, Suarez A, Linares Y & Sapienza C (2003). Familial aggregation of abnormal methylation of parental alleles at the IGF2/H19 and IGF2R differentially methylated regions. Hum Mol Genet, 12:1569-78. PMID: 12812984.