School of Environmental Sciences

Environmental Epidemiology

This course is part of the programme:
Master’s study programme Environment (2nd level)

Objectives and competences

The purpose of this course is to develop an appropriate level of understanding of epidemiological principles and problems with special emphasis on epidemiological methods that are useful in terms of health problems related to professional exposure to environmental pollution. The issue will be presented in the form of cases illustrating the principles of epidemiology to determine the burden of man and strategies for its reduction.

The students develop competences in cell biology and in toxicology and will acquire a critical evaluation of the processes and methods required to correlate specific diseases to a certain environmental impact. Students will learn basic epidemiology statistic principles. Students will also understand the role of Health Organisations as well as the importance of Environmental Agencies in disease prevention and monitoring at national and world level.


Basic knowledge of statistical methods and biology is recommended.

Content (Syllabus outline)

The course addresses the following topics: general approach to environmental epidemiology, epidemiological criteria, descriptive epidemiology, analytical epidemiology, basic biostatistic factors and the effects of variation, critical reading of the epidemiological literature, exposure determination, methods and approaches to reducing exposure, review of environmental epidemiology case studies, selected examples of toxic agents.

Dedicated lectures will be dedicated to basic principles in disease principles, toxicology and cell toxicity. Selected lectures will focus water, air and climate changes epidemiology and chemical intoxication and pesticides effects on human health.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Understanding scientific methods on the basis of public health monitoring, and its causal relation to environmental stressors. Understanding responsabilities of public Environmental and Health Agencies in monitoring public health at world and national levels.


  • P. Wilkinson, Environmental Epidemiology, Open University Press, 2006
  • Selected literature in the field


  • Written examination (75 %) • Oral examination (25 %)

Lecturer's references

Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Nova Gorica

1. Bele T. and Fabbretti E. (2014) P2X receptors, sensory neurons and pain Current Medicinal Chemistry, in press.

2. Fabbretti E. (2013) ATP P2X3 receptors and neuronal sensitization Frontieres in Cellular Neuroscience. 7:236.

3. Franceschini A., Nair A, Bele T., Hullugundi SK, van den Maagdenberg AMJM, Nistri A, Fabbretti E (2012) Functional crosstalk between macrophages and trigeminal sensory neurons in culture BMC NEUROSCIENCE 13(1):143.

4. D’Arco M, Giniatullin R, Leone V, Carloni P, Nistri A, Fabbretti E (2009) The C-terminal Src inhibitory kinase (Csk)-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation is a novel molecular mechanism to limit P2X3 receptor function in mouse sensory neurons. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 284(32):21393-401. (IF=5.58 n citations 23).

5. Fabbretti E, Edomi P, Brancolini C, Schneider C (1995) Apoptotic phenotype induced by overexpression of wild-type gas3/PMP22: its relation to the demyelinating peripheral neuropathy CMT1A. CMT1A GENES AND DEVELOPMENT, 9 (15), 1846-1856. (IF= 15.61; n citations 146).

University course code: 2OK015

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1.

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 45 hours
  • Exercises: 15 hours
  • Individual work: 180 hours

Course type: specialised elective

Languages: slovene and english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • tutorial • students' individual work