Jean-Pierre Jost

In June 2002, I retired after 32 years as research group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute. In my laboratory we developed new techniques to study the patterns of DNA methylation. Specifically, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying changes in the methylation patterns of specific genes during differentiation and their role in activating genes. We put a special emphasis on the molecular characterization of the enzyme-RNA complex involved in the replacement of 5-methylcytosine by cytosine (epigenome editing?). The implications of DNA "demethylation" were studied in developing chicken embryos and in differentiating mouse myoblasts. For selected references and downloads describing this work follow the link to publications.

I was born in Avenches, Switzerland and began as a farm worker and postman in the Alps. After gaining admission to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, I studied agronomy and received a degree in engineering followed by a Ph.D. in science. I then worked for seven years in America, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Research Center of the National Jewish Hospital in Denver before returning to Switzerland as a group leader in basic research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute.

I have been observing the behavior of animals since 1946, with a special interest in birds, and have participated in numerous competitions and exhibitions of photography. Since my retirement in 2002 I have worked as a wildlife photographer and field biologist aided by my wife and loyal assistant, Yan-Chim Jost. Together we are writing a series of books on wildlife, animal behavior and plant -animal interactions. So far we have published twenty one books (monographs and essays). For further information visit our home page: and Research Gate.
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