Caenorhabditis elegans

We provide advice, support, and facilities to study ageing and diseases in a small invertebrate model organism. Facility
The discovery of disease mechanisms and development of an effective therapy requires long, low-throughput, and expensive studies in human cells and mouse models. In particular for age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, such studies may be challenging and costly, as disease symptoms will only occur at old age. We use the short lived small nematode worm C.elegans as model for research and the identification of targets for therapy.

C.elegans has been used extensively as a model for biomedical research and drug discovery and has several advantages. C. elegans is a small nematode (1mm long) with a relatively short lifespan (three weeks). The whole genome is known, is easily manipulated and has a high homology to humans (30-60%). The body of the worm is transparent and can therefore be easily combined with fluorescent tagged proteins and molecules. Finally, no license is required for research in C. elegans!

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How our research benefits to society

C. elegans has been used successfully for biomedical research for decades and has delivered key insights into disease mechanisms and knowledge for innovative therapies, which include the discovery of apoptosis, RNA interference and the development of GFP as a research tool.

Booking information

Please contact us if you consider to use C.elegans for your research. We can provide you with advice and technical support on several aspects, including:

  • The design of a study
  • Automated behavioural analyses
  • Optogenetics
  • Genetic screens
  • Imaging
  • Access to our network of C.elegans researchers


Ellen Nollen Professor of Medical Genetics and (Interim) head of department

European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing

University Medical Center Groningen
Antonius Deusinglaan, 1
Building 3226
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands

More information visit: ERIBA molecular neurobiology of ageing