C. elegans/Picture: Agnieszka Doroszuk

Research Topic: Genetic variation in the human model species C. elegans

The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has many genetic characteristics which makes it an ideal model for studying the genetic architecture of complex human disease and ageing phenotypes.

Many genetic pathways which are associated with cancer and ageing are conserved across worms and humans. In our lab we study the genetic architecture of ageing, lifespan and the Wnt-pathway. We use quantitative genetic approaches to map complex traits, including the transcriptome, and study genotype-environment interactions. To identify candidate genes underlying complex traits we perform mutation analysis and genome editing in combination with natural genetic variation in natural populations. Next to this we investigate the underlying mechanisms of C. elegans – virus interactions.

We have developed comprehensive data storage and analyses platforms (www.WormQTL.org and www.WormQTL-HD.org) to study complex traits in C. elegans.

We collaborate with groups of Michael Hengartner, Alex Hajnal, Simon Harvey, Hinrich Schulenburg, Ben Lehner, Andy Cossins, Stefano Allesina, and Mike Herman.