Course catalogue doctoral education - HT20

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Title Beyond Gene Expression: Epigenetics in the Cardiovascular System
Course number 3189
Programme Kardiovaskulär forskning
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2019-10-21 -- 2019-10-25
Responsible KI department Institutionen för medicin, Solna
Specific entry requirements The course is designed for students who have prior knowledge of cardiovascular physiology and molecular biology.
Purpose of the course The purpose of the course is to enable doctoral students to obtain in-depth knowledge on new scientific advancement in cardiovascular research, and hands-on experience on methodology/techniques of epigenetics, including histone modulations, DNA methylation, posttranscriptional regulations of non-coding RNAs.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course the participant should be able to:
- Be able to describe the physiological and pathological roles of epigenetic modulation in the cardiovascular system.
- Be able to design a preliminary study to observe the epigenetic alterations in cardiovascular diseases, either as biomarker or therapeutic targets.
- Have obtained knowledge on how to practically perform, analyse and interpret in vitro, ex vivo experiments for epigenetic studies (ISH, transfection, Incucyte,
-Be able to show a basic understanding on how to analyse the data from Chip-seq and RNA-seq data (via analytical assignments on example data).
Contents of the course The course is designed to enable acquisition of theoretical knowledge about epigenetic modifications in the cardiovascular system, as well as about the applications of epigenetic tools to investigate the development of various cardiovascular diseases. There is also a significant practical component where students will get hands-on bench work experience in the most common models used including Incucyte, in situ hybridization, non-coding RNA and protein co-staining, vascular function evaluation and data analysis.
Teaching and learning activities The course is a theoretical and practical training combination, where lectures/group discussions and laboratory/practical demonstrations are integrated. Time is also allocated for discussing laboratory results and lectures.
Compulsory elements Full attendance to both theoretical and practical lessons to understand the course content and to pass the course. The students who have missed the group work sessions can book extra session time within four weeks to compensate the absence.
Examination All the learning outcomes of the course have to be reached to pass the course. The final grade (pass or fail) will be based on:
- Summative assessment of the contributions during the discussions that are part of the course.
- Group presentation at the final seminar where different research topics regarding epigenetic modifications will be discussed, i.e. disease aspect to be investigated, and how the results of appropriate experiments are analysed and interpreted.
Literature and other teaching material The publications listed below can be obtained via Pubmed search ( and are recommended for students to read before the course.

Xu S, Kamato D, Little PJ, Nakagawa S, Pelisek J, Jin ZG. Targeting epigenetics and non-coding RNAs in atherosclerosis: from mechanisms to therapeutics.

Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Nov 13. pii: S0163-7258(18)30200-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2018.11.003

Rosa-Garrido M, Chapski DJ, Vondriska TM. Epigenomes in Cardiovascular Disease. Circ Res. 2018 May 25;122(11):1586-1607. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.311597.

Ordovás JM, Smith CE. Epigenetics and cardiovascular disease.

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2010 Sep;7(9):510-9. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2010.104.
Number of students 8 - 20
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date)
More information Lectures will be held in room J3:20 Sven Ivar Seldingen, 3rd floor, Bioclinicum, Campus Solna. Practical sessions will be held in Bioclinicum J8:20, 8th floor, and KERIC (Karolinska Experimental Research and Imaging Center), 4th floor, Campus Solna.
An external speaker will give a keynote lecture.
Additional course leader Zhichao Zhou
Latest course evaluation Not available
Course responsible Hong Jin
Institutionen för molekylär medicin och kirurgi
Contact person Hong Jin
Institutionen för molekylär medicin och kirurgi

Zhichao Zhou
Institutionen för medicin, Solna