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Epigenetics - Non-genetic Inheritance and its Medical Aspects

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Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2020-2021

Course director

Dr. István Zoltán KISS (istvan.kiss@aok.pte.hu), professor

Department of Public Health Medicine

Subject data

Code of subject: OSF-GFO-T  |  2 credit  |  Dentistry |  Optional module  |  both semesters

Prerequisites: -

Number of hours/semester

24 lectures + 0 practices + 0 seminars = total of 24 hours

Course headcount limitations

min. 1 – max. 30 person


Contribution of environmentally induced molecular signals to disease development is an interesting and actual question of molecular epidemiology. Epigenetics can significantly contribute to this area by studying the effect of environmental factors on gene regulation causing phenotypically inherited changes. It can present a novel approach in the characterization of the connection between exposure, genes and disease development.The course tries to familiarize the students with the theoretical background and research directions of epigenetics, including the most recent clinical and preventive aspects.


  • 1. The concept, history and theoretical background of epigenetics. Twin studies (The EpiTwin Project). - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 2. Are the environmental effects heritable (nutrition, physical activity and stress)? The question of "epigenetic responsibility". - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 3. Mechanism of DNA-methylation. Link between the external world and individual. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 4. Human Epigenom Project. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 5. Mechanism of histone modifications and chromatin organisation. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 6. How does the epigenom inherite? - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 7. Relation between diet and epigenetics. Folate and DNA methylation: Epigenetic and intrauterin effects of maternal nutrition. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 8. Nutriepigenetics. Impacts on the metabolic syndrome. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 9. The role of epigenetics in obesity, impacts on the Offspring. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 10. Epigenomic-Wide Association Studies (EWAS) in Human Obesity. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 11. Epigenetics in the development of cardiovascular diseases. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 12. Impacts on the vascular functions. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 13. The role of epigenetics in cancer diagnostics and therapy. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 14. Dietary factors, epigenetics and cancer. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 15. Epigenetic aspects of allergy and human infectious diseases. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 16. Relation between lifelong pattern of epigenetics, disease-risk and ageing. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 17. Regulatory non-coding RNAs (siRNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs). Therapeutical application of exogenous siRNAs and the possible side-effects. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 18. The microRNA regulation - therapy or prevention? The link between RNA-interference and epigenetics. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 19. Clinical aspects of epigenetics. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 20. Preventive aspects of epigenetics. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 21. Research methods in epigenetics (MethyLight). - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 22. Investigating the epigenome. Methylation DNA (MeDIP) and chromatin immunprecipitation (ChIP) technique. DNA editing with RNAs (CRISPR systems). - Bérczi Bálint Dániel
  • 23. What holds the future for us? - Dr. Kiss István Zoltán
  • 24. The future perspectives of personalized medicine. Involvement of epigenetics. - Bérczi Bálint Dániel



Reading material

Obligatory literature

Literature developed by the Department

Educational material will be uploaded on Neptun.


Recommended literature

Trygve Tollefsbol (ed.): Handbook of Epigenetics - The New Molecular and Medical Genetics, ACADEMIC PRESS, ISBN: 978-0-12-375709-8
Igor Kovalchuk, Ph.D., MD, Olga Kovalchuk, Ph.D., MD: Epigenetics in Health and Disease, 1st edition, FT Press Science, ISBN-10: 013259708X

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Absences should not exceed 25% (4x45 min).

Mid-term exams

A simple choice test has to be done on the last lecture.

Making up for missed classes

There are no make-up classes.

Exam topics/questions



Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars