The new Institut Pasteur MOOC on Epigenetics is now open for registration. The courses will start on July 8th, 2019:
The life of a multicellular organism, including us, starts as a single cell with a unique genome. However, during development all the cells of our body inherit the same genome despite being so different among each other. This implies that additional information must be inherited in each different cell type to instruct their fate. Moreover, because during our existence the genome does not change, our life experience cannot be transmitted to the next generation by the genome.
Based on several observations in different model organisms in recent years, many biologists have been questioning the dogmatic view of the genome as being the only source of information transmitted through cell divisions and across generations. The discovery and the characterization of new types of information transmitted along with the genome is what we usually call epigenetics. The capability of transmitting information across individuals beyond their genes is quite revolutionary in biology and this is the reason why the field of epigenetics is still very controversial and deeply investigated by many scientists around the world. Nonetheless, extensive research in the past years helped to reveal how our genome is organized in the nucleus and to characterize the different types of transient chemical modifications that regulate the activity of the genome in our cells. These chemical modifications that surround the genome, called epigenetic modifications, constitute one of the fundamental bases of the epigenetic process. In addition, other types of molecules, such as RNA, serve to transmit heritable information across cell divisions. Drawing on this knowledge, we are starting to appreciate how epigenetic information can have an influence on the development of multicellular organisms and how it can impact human health. Thus, the full understanding of the mechanisms regulating epigenetic processes will contribute to expand our notion of genetics, heritability, and diseases.
This course aims to provide a basic fundamental knowledge of what is considered to be epigenetics and wants to illustrate well characterized examples of epigenetic phenomena in many different model organisms. In addition, we will explain in detail the molecules that participate in the epigenetic inheritance and their mechanisms of action. Furthermore, we will discuss the implication of epigenetics in development, and how environmental experiences can change our life and the life of our progenies through epigenetic mechanisms. Finally, we will describe examples of diseases that are influenced by epigenetic mechanisms.
The MOOC is in English with French and English subtitles, it is free of charge, takes on average 2.5 hours/week and offers a certificate after passing the final exam. It encompasses voluntary tests for checking your self-paced learning progress.
This course has been organized by Dr. Germano Cecere, head of the Mechanisms of Epigenetic Inheritance lab at Institut Pasteur Paris. It includes 20 talks from leading scientists in the field, that will cover state-of-the-art concepts from basic to medical research. It is suited for medical doctors, scientists, post-docs, all kind of students in natural sciences and medicine, health care workers and anyone interested in the field.
List of speakers: Slimane Ait-Si-Ali (Université Paris-Diderot) Benoit Arcangioli (Institut Pasteur) Paola Arimondo (Institut Pasteur) Valentina Boeva (Inserm, Paris) Matthieu Boulard (EMBL, Rome) Giacomo Cavalli (IGH, Montpellier) Vincent Colot (ENS Paris) Eugene Gladyshev (Institut Pasteur) Maxime Greenberg (Institut Curie) Thomas Gregor (Institut Pasteur) Mélanie Hamon (Institut Pasteur) Michelle Holland (King's College London) Nicola Iovino (Max Planck Institute, Freiburg) Francesca Merlin (Sorbonne U, Paris) Pablo Navarro-Gil (Institut Pasteur) Lluis Quintana-Murci (Institut Pasteur) Claire Rougeulle (Université Paris-Diderot) Ritwick Sawarkar (Max Planck Institute, Freiburg) Jonathan Weitzman (Université Paris-Diderot)