In this subproject, we will study the genome-wide epigenetic modifications in the cord blood of children who developed FA later in life compared to healthy controls. Based on that a Biomarker Set will be extracted and later on validated in a large sample set contributed by the Ulm SPATZ Health Study and KUNO Kids.


With this subproject, we will systematically study genome-wide epigenetic modifications in the cord blood of children who developed food allergy later in life to identify a FA-predictive DNA methylation signature (Biomarker Set) and to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the role of prenatal stressors in FA development. The following aims will be addressed in this subproject:

Aim 1 is to unravel the FA-specific cord blood DNA methylation pattern based on whole genome methylome sequencing in 60 samples and to extract a Biomarker Set from these patterns.

Aim 2 is to validate this Biomarker Set in a large sample set of two cohorts (Ulm SPATZ Health Study and KUNO Kids) and define the specificity of the markers for food allergy.

Aim 3 is to dissect the impact of genetic determinants and prenatal stressors on this FA specific DNA methylation pattern


The information on prenatal stressors modifying children’s epigenome and the measured biomarker data will be fed into the models developed in SP3 underlying the Professional App and will improve the predictive capability of those models.


  • Enhance the existing knowledge on risk factors and molecular mechanisms contributing to programing for food allergy development.
  • Provide a predictive biomarker set based on DNA methylation signatures in cord blood for food allergy development

Principal Investigators
Prof Irina Lehmann
Prof Roland Eils

Saskia Trump
Marey Messingschlager
Laura Matzner
Naveed Ishaque
Sebastian Mackowiak
Johanna Denkena