Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PBH 234 - Genes, Environment and Health


Scientific literature suggests that a person’s zip code, and not genetic code,  is a better predictor of their health. Thus, to understand and predict chronic disease susceptibility in humans, we must examine an individual’s social and physical environment. How does the environment interact with our bodies to impact our long-term health? Epigenetic/epigenomic mechanisms are thought to underlie such gene-environment interactions.  This course provides an introduction to epigenetic mechanisms - mechanisms that regulate gene expression by altering chromosome structure and function.  Topics covered in the course include molecular mechanisms in epigenetics, experimental methods that are used to study epigenetic phenomena, and early clues from biological, environmental, epidemiological, behavioral and clinical studies that implicate epigenetics as a plausible mechanism in the pathogenesis of chronic disease such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes, cancer and mental illness.  In this course, students will learn to assess the validity of reports on epigenomic phenomena in popular press by identifying relevant primary literature, evaluating experimental design, and interpreting scientific data. Students will also hone their ability to communicate science with a broad audience.

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Public Health.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary major requirement in Public Health.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes
Bio 111/113 is a prerequisite for this course as it builds on content covered in Bio 111/113.