The nematode worm C. elegans is a standard model for studying human aging related disease pathways and gene networks.
It was in C.elegans that the first single-gene mutations increasing lifespan three-fold were isolated. The pathways identified also extend lifespan in other animals, including mammals (e.g.insulin signalling, caloric restriction). The student will be involved in studying the underlying mechanisms of aging and disease stress using advanced genetic tools like gene and expression-QTL mapping. Experimentation includes: gene expression profiling using microarrays, SNP analysis, lifespan analysis and, if required, targeted gene knock-down studies.