GENE40030 Advanced Mechanisms of Gene Regulation

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module covers advanced topics in the regulation of gene expression and explores emerging therapeutic avenues informed by transcriptional control. It is strongly recommended that students have taken BMOL30030 Regulation of Gene Expression, or other modules with similar learning outcomes. Topics covered will include the signalling to chromatin, the therapeutic targeting of transcription factors in disease, the transcriptional control of cell fate and pluripotency, CRISPR gene editing and potential therapeutic uses, and the mechanisms through which chromatin dynamics regulate gene expression The module will include discussion topics covering inducible pluripotency, stem cell therapeutics, gene editing and the role of remodelling of chromatin in controlling gene expression.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: 1. Critically evaluate recent research findings in studies of gene expression. 2. Discuss the application of modern research methods to studying problems in gene expression. 3. Discuss the role of transcription factors in the establishment of "stemness" and the determination of cell fate. 4. Evaluate the role of nuclear localisation and chromatin remodelling in the regulation of gene expression. 5. Understand how manipulation of gene expression can be used in therapeutic settings, including regenerative medicine.

Indicative Module Content:

The transcriptional regulation of cell fate.
The Yamanaka Revolution; Cellular Reprogramming and Transcription
Case Study 1. Exploitation of the transcriptional landscape for the generation of pancreatic beta cells
Epigenetics and metabolic memory
Chromatin remodelling and the regulation of transcription
Case study 2. Signalling to Chromatin; Polycomb and reprogramming
Make me a Kidney: How the Renal Replacement Roadmap is a transcriptional regulatory phenomenon
Is my Kidney real? scRNA-seq and cellular identity
Case study 3. CRISPR my Kidney. How to make a better model
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins in flies
PcGs in mammalian stem cell regulation
PcGs in cancer and as a therapeutic target

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module uses both formal lectures and special Case Studies to help contextualise the translational and therapeutis potential of manipulation of gene regulatory circuits. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is strongly recommended that students have taken BMOL30030 Regulation of Gene Expression, or other modules with similar learning outcomes.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Eric Conway Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Niamh O'Sullivan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer