MH (Marijke) van Wijk MSc BScPhD student
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a worldwide problem. The genetic component of developing this disease is estimated to be roughly 50%. Genetic variation, in the form of mild change- of- function alleles, of genes that contribute to the physiological response of alcohol use, are likely underlying the development of AUD. This has also been observed in a variety of other complex diseases.
C. elegans is an excellent model to study ethanol responses due to the conserved neuronal molecular machinery between worms and human and their rapid life cycle. In my research we will use a Multi Parent Recombinant Inbred Line (mpRIL) panel, derived from genetically diverse wild C. elegans strains, to investigate natural allelic variation in response to ethanol.
The goal of this research is to identify and verify allelic variants that are associated with behavioral and/or transcriptional responses to ethanol. Therefore, we will QTL mapping techniques, animal crossing methods and make gene modifications using CRISPR-Cas9.