Course Aim

This course provides an overview of the principles of epigenetics to students with background of molecular biology and genetics.

Course Description

Epigenetic regulation of gene activity is essential for development and response to environmental changes in living organisms. Discover fundamental principles and key concepts of epigenetics, including the specific molecular mechanisms and structural changes. Examine these changes in the context of modifying factors such as transposable elements, RNA interference, and dosage compensation. Discuss recent advances in epigenetic reprogramming, stem cell applications, and the influence of epigenetic changes on disease. Critically review and discuss original research publications about epigenetic phenomena.

Course Contents

Introduction to Epigenetics
Histone variants and modifications
DNA methylation
RNA interference and small RNA
Regulation of chromosome and chromatin structure
Transposable elements and genome evolution I
Transposable elements and genome evolution II
Epigenetic regulation of development I
Epigenetic regulation of development II
Genome imprinting
Dosage compensation I
Dosage compensation II
Epigenetic reprogramming and stem cells
Epigenetics and disease


Participation 50%; Presentation, 50%.

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Requires at least advanced undergraduate level Cell Biology and Genetics or similar background knowledge


Epigenetics, by Allis, Jenuwein, Reinberg, Caparros (2006) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Reference Books

Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5 edn, by Alberts et al. (2007) Garland Science
Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 10 edn, by Griffiths et al. (2010) W.H. Freeman and Company

Research Specialties