GENE40090 Epigenetics

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will cover advanced topics in epigenetic control including: genomic imprinting, chromatin remodelling and the ‘histone code’, non-coding RNAs, DNA methylation and environmental epigenetics. The module will include discussion on the role of epigenetic modulation in health and disease.

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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 epigenetics;
2. Discuss recent technological approaches used to analyse and modify epigenetic regulation;
3. Describe the experimental approaches that are used in the planning of experiments in epigenetic research.

Indicative Module Content:

Lecture 1: How to write a research plan (NO’S)
Lecture 2: Introduce key concepts in epigenetics (NO’S)
Lecture 3: DNA methylation and gene expression (GB)
Lecture 4: Chromatin remodelling and ‘the histone code’ (GB)
Lecture 5: Non-coding RNAs (GB)
Lectures 6+7: Mini-symposium, 3 speakers presenting their epigenetic research (25 minutes each plus questions)
Lecture 8+9: Cancer epigenetics (AP)
Lecture 10: Tutorial session to review grant application work in progress (NO’S)
Lectures 11+12: Transgenerational epigenetics (RM)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The aim of this module is to focus on the most up-to-date epigenetic research which will be delivered through lectures, research presentations by successful scientists in the field and self-directed reading of suggested papers by the students themselves.
Another goal of the module is to develop 'real world' skills required of genetics researchers. Through the research plan, students will learn how to craft a research proposal similar to an Irish Research Council application including writing a lay abstract, research design and consideration of timelines. There will be an initial class with the module coordinator who will go into the detail of how to undertake this and a tutorial class in the last week of the module at which students can raise any issues or queries they might be having. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1,500 word research plan on an assigned epigenetic research project Week 11 n/a Graded Yes


Essay: Report on 1 talk from epigenetics mini-symposium Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The report from the mini-symposium, will be returned to you, graded and with comments, prior to submission of the research report. Within the tutorial class you will have the opportunity to ask and receive feedback on your individual research report draft.

Name Role
Dr Gary Brennan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Geraldine Butler Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Rainer Melzer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Antoinette Perry Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 23, 25, 28 Fri 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 24 Fri 11:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 23, 24, 25, 28 Tues 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 23, 24, 25, 28 Wed 11:00 - 11:50