4109.0 Epigenetics - Significance and Relevance in Public Health Disease Prevention

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
The session will give an overview of current epigenetic research that is relevant to Public Health practitioners and policy makers. It will underline both the importance of the subject and introduce the mechanisms and linkages between health, chronic disease and environmental factors that are of interest in the advancement of Public Health.

Background: Epigenetics describes the study of both heritable and non-heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve modifications in the DNA coding sequence. While the genome contains information related to gene structure, gene expression is regulated epigenetically. Inherited and environmentally-acquired epigenetic alterations have significant implications for improving our understanding of disease etiology—particularly for complex diseases in which a component of the disease process within the same individual may be attributed in part to ancestry and yet also in part to an environmental exposure. The session will focus on four areas that are interrelated and aims to provide the attendees with a greater appreciation for the role of Epigenetics in Public Health. The areas covered will include a general introduction to the field of epigenetics and how it relates to Public Health, the nutritional epigenetic effects in early life, environmental pollutants and epigenetic effects, and the epigenetics of aging in the context of Public Health.

Purpose: The aim of this session is to provide educators, clinicians and public health practitioners with an overview and understanding of the relevance and importance of epigenetic research and the potential implications of epigenetics on Public Health.
Session Objectives:
1. Discuss the emerging importance of epigenetic research in a Public Health context.
2. Name specific areas in which epigenetics has an impact on human health.
3. Describe mechanisms of how environmental factors may interact with gene expression.
4. Explain how maternal dietary intake during pregnancy may alter future health outcomes in their offspring.
5. Evaluate the epigenetic mechanisms that can contribute to the aging process and how this relates to Public Health.
Nico Rizzo, PhD, med Dr


See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Epidemiology
Endorsed by: Genomics Forum

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Epidemiology