Epigenetics: From Stem Cells to Embryonic Development
The structure of the course will be divided into 5 main sections (see below) and will include introductory lectures for each of the topics and student seminars discussing key literature.
(i) Cell fate acquisition in early embryonic development
- Mammalian pre-implantation development
- Mammalian gastrulation
- Specie-specific strategies
(ii) Epigenetic mechanisms specifying and memorizing functional embryonic programs
- TF and the regulation of cell specification
- DNA methylation
(iii) Stem cells in development and tissue maintenance
- Pluripotent Stem Cells + gastruloids
- Epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells by the oocyte and by exogenous factors
(iv) Self-renewal and tissue maintenance
- Adult Stem Cells I: Blood
- Adult Stem Cells II: Colon, Skin
(v) Germ cells and parental asymmetry
- Specification of the germline lineage and sex determination.
- Parental imprinting
- Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – how strong is the evidence?
Tasks and grading
Each student will present a seminar related to one of the above topics and will moderate the discussion of another independent session. Grades will be given based on the evaluation of the following tasks:
- Preparation for pre-seminar meeting with course teachers (20%)
- Presentation content (40%)
- Presentation delivery, active participation, and discussion moderation (40%)