EH 298: Environmental Epigenetics
Epigenetics is a fast growing field, with increasing applicability in environmental and epidemiology studies, focusing on the alterations in chromatin structure that can stably and heritably influence gene expression. Epigenetic changes can be as profound as those exerted by mutation, but, unlike mutations, are reversible and responsive to environmental influences. The course will focus on epigenetic mechanisms and laboratory methods for DNA methylamine, his tone modifications, small non-coding RNAs, and epigenomics. Ongoing experimental, and epidemiology studies (cohort, case-control, cross-sectional and repeated measurement studies) will be presented to introduce the students to the epigenetic effects in prenatal/early and adult life of environmental factors, including air pollution, metals, pesticides, benzene, PCBs, persistent organic pollutants, and diet. The course will enable them to understand and apply epigenetic methods in multiple areas, including cardiovascular and respiratory disease, aging, reproductive health, inflammation/immunity, and cancer.