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Epigenetic modulation is one of the molecular mechanisms through which stressors interact with the genome, with significant health and behavioral effects that can propagate across generations. Acquired or inherited epigenetic marks can be long-lasting, yet, they are potentially reversible. In these times of increasing violence, inequalities and uncertainty, epigenetic findings highlight the need to sensitise society and policymakers about the potential multigenerational impact of environmental challenges, including stress and trauma. This talk will provide a brief overview of the current state of evidence, and present research exploring the epigenetic potentials of meditation-based interventions to help promote individual and collective healing and resilience.
Perla Kaliman holds a PhD in Biochemistry. She is a honorary fellow at the Center for Healthy Minds (University of Wisconsin Madison), exploring the gene expression and epigenetic impact of meditation practice. She is an associate professor in Nutrition and Public Health at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, where she teaches nutrigenomics. She collaborates with the NGO “Innocence in Danger Colombia” (IIDC), exploring the psychological and epigenetic benefits of a program to heal trauma in adolescents with a history of multiple adverse childhood experiences. She has published numerous scientific articles, and she co-edited the book Epigenetics of Lifestyle (Bentham eBooks). She is the author of a neuroscience-cooking book on food for brain health with the chef Miguel Aguilar (Cocina para tu Mente, 2014, Ed. Blume, Barcelona) and “La ciencia de la meditación: de la mente a los genes” (2017, ed. Kairos, Barcelona).