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Research in the Bernstein lab focuses on how epigenetic modifications mediate neurotoxicological effects and gene-environment interactions underlying sporadic Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurological disorders. Although PD is generally a disease of the aged, the neurodegenerative process begins long before clinical diagnosis. Thus, exposures that occur early in life may contribute to sporadic forms of disease by directly affecting the vulnerability of neurological systems. Epigenetic modifications are thought to imprint environmental experiences on the genome, resulting in stable alterations in phenotype. Linking epigenetic changes with functional outcomes will help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying sporadic neurodegenerative diseases and further our understanding of the complex relationship between toxicity, epigenetics, and neuronal vulnerability.