EPIGENETICS
cod. 1008501

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - First semester
Professor
- Cristina DALLABONA
Academic discipline
Genetica (BIO/18)
Field
Discipline del settore biomolecolare
Type of training activity
Characterising
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ITALIAN

Learning objectives


At the end of the course the student is expected to:
- possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of epigenetitic phenomena, of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena and defects associated with a deregulation of these;
- is able to apply the knowledge acquired in the biomedical field;
- has the ability to integrate the knowledge of genetics and epigenetics;
- know how to communicate clearly and unambiguously the knowledge and the rationale underlying them both to specialist and non-specialist interlocutors;
- know how to analyze critically and independently the controversial issues and the gaps in the knowledge of epigenetics.

Prerequisites


Basic knowledge of Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Course unit content

The course will focus on the study of epigenetic phenomena and the consequences in the event of their deregulation. The molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena will also be discussed.
Genetic concepts will be analyzed in order to make a comparison between genetic and epigenetic phenomena in particular in relation to the pathological consequences of mutations and epimutations.
Furthermore, some techniques used to identify genetic and epigenetic defects will be considered.

Full programme

Epigenetics: definitions and fields of study

DNA methylation: how, where and why.

Techniques to evaluate DNA methylation.

DNA methylation diseases.

Genomic imprinting.

Imprinting diseases.

Chromatin and histone modifications: how, where and why.

Mitotic and meiotic heritability of epigenetic markers.

Chromatin diseases.

Techniques to evaluate chromatin state.

Genome tridimensional structure: why is it important.

Non-coding RNA: miRNA, siRNA, piRNA and lncRNA.

Dosage compensation and X chromosome inactivation.

Paramutation.

Epigenetic and environmental influences.

Epigenetic contribution in complex diseases.

Epigenetic contribution in cancer.

Epigenetic therapy.

Bibliography

The Professor will provide some teaching material, including scientific articles in English.

Chapters of genetics/epigenetics texts:
"Epigenetica" Massimo Romani - Zanichelli
“Genetica & Genomica nelle scienze mediche” – Strachan et al - Zanichelli.
“Genetica” – Binelli Ghisotti - EdiSES.

Professor will provide additional information during the course.

Teaching methods


During the lessons the epigenetic phenomena, the underlying molecular mechanisms and the consequences of a deregulation of the epigenetic processes will be discussed, also highlighting the areas of uncertainty and knowledge gaps.
Genetic concepts will be resumed in order to make a comparison between genetic and epigenetic phenomena in particular in relation to the pathological consequences of mutations and epimutations.
Some methodologies used to study epigenetic phenomena will also be discussed.
Some scientific articles will be discussed in the classroom to stimulate the ability to frame and investigate scientific problems, to achieve communication skills and to stimulate independent judgment.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination involves an oral examination aimed to verify the knowledge of epigenetic phenomena, the mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena and the defects associated with a deregulation of these. The ability to integrate the knowledge of genetics and epigenetics and the knowledge of the methodologies used for epigenetic studies will also be evaluated.
Problems will be posed to assess the ability to solve them, particularly in the biological or biomedical field, and to assess the student's independence of judgment.
The student should be able to use an appropriate scientific language.

Other information

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