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Epigenetics Interest Group

Epigenetics represents a new frontier in cancer research. Information in the genome exists in at least two forms, genetic and epigenetic. The genetic information provides the blue print for the manufacture of all the proteins necessary to create a living organism, whereas the epigenetic information provides additional instructions on how, where, and when the genetic information will be used. The focus of the Epigenetics Interest Group is on applications of epigenetic approaches in disease detection, risk assessment and treatment. The group meets on last Thursday of every month from 3-4 pm. Please contact Dr. Mukesh Verma at 240-276-6889 for more information.

Colleagues interested in epigenetics also may benefit from a spring course offered by the NIH FAES, "Chromatin modifications and their biological importance." For more information and to register, see and search for course BIOC532. The term period is January 2 to May 31, 2019.

Course title: BIOC532, Chromatin modifications and their biological importance

Course Description: Chromatin modifications play important roles in many cellular processes including the regulation of gene expression, DNA repair, and heterochromatin formation. This course will explore the various biological roles chromatin modifications play in eukaryotic cells. Topics that will be discussed include: histone and DNA modifications and the enzymes responsible for these modifications; mechanisms of chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation; the role of non-coding RNAs in chromatin structure and gene regulation; higher-order chromatin organization and the use of various chromosome capture conformation methods; chromatin structure and DNA damage repair. In addition, this course will introduce students to the genome-wide analysis of ChIP-seq and RNA-seq data using a variety of softwares, including the publicly accessible web servers, such as Galaxy and UCSC genome browser.

This is a 15-week course (2 credits) designed for medical students, graduate students. Students who take this course should have a general understanding of the basic concepts in genetics and biochemistry.

For details about the course contact: Tiaojiang Xiao; Email:



The page was last updated on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 2:43pm