Wolf Reik obtained his MD from the University of Hamburg. He did his thesis work with Rudolf Jaenisch, and postdoctoral work with Azim Surani in Cambridge. He became a Fellow of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine at Cambridge and subsequently the Head of the Epigenetics Programme at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge and its Associate Director. He is honorary Professor of Epigenetics at the University of Cambridge and Associate Faculty at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he is a founding member of the recently established Centre for Single Cell Genomics. He is a Member of EMBO, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Member of the Academia Europaea.
His research interests are in epigenetics, particularly in epigenetic reprogramming during mammalian development and its role in stem cell biology and inheritance. His current work addresses the mechanisms of genome-wide demethylation in the mammalian germline, links between reprogramming and pluripotency, the potential for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, and the role of epigenetic mechanisms in experimental reprogramming. His lab also develops new epigenomics technologies especially in small numbers of cells.