Labs Studying C elegans Stress Response


A preliminary search using Google suggests that there are a fair number (perhaps hundreds) of research groups using C elegans as their model system to study stress response.

I’m sure some of these groups know of each other and possibly communicate /collaborate with other, but most (I’m guessing) don’t. As someone with a very small lab (personnel-wise) which was depleted by half when my post-doc colleague went on maternity leave recently and not forgetting that we are based in the ‘deep south’ of Germany…result, we don’t have much contact with other groups. I study the transgenerational effects of stress and although I can identify most of the other groups doing the same from the web, talking to colleagues from related areas is always rewarding and a little time-consuming via web searches!

I would like to change this and ask other groups/individuals working in the area of C elegans stress response to send me a quick email (not all on the same day!) summarising in 50 words what your focus is. I hope that we can then at least form a loose alliance of interest as I feel the area of stress response research has grown significantly in recent years. If there was enough interest, I would see if we could list people and their research so that others could take a look, perhaps get in contact with each other…possibly communicate with each other about their research, start collaborations etc.

Look forward to hearing from you…perhaps we can use a post on the forum to list names & interests if all agree?


aw shucks…I feel like Charlton Heston in the Omega Man, or, if you you’re too young to know who Charlton Heston was;

then like Will Smith in ‘I am Legend’, both were desperately trying to contact someone out there… No takers out of over 70 views…where are all the stress response researchers?


If you don’t hear any response here, try
a.) contact possible cooperation candidates at meetings
or with a slightly lower success rate
b.) contact corresponding authors from papers of interest

I also believe there was a group in Freising (which technically is the south of Germany) that was working on influence of nutrition on stress response of C.elegans.

yes thanks, I could write/contact people that way…my aim was more to generate some kind of community spirit, the kind of ‘yeah…we’re all interested in roughly the same area and interested in what others are doing outside the two or three people we always sit with and speak to at conferences’ type of thing…

There are actually some good examples of virtual research ‘groups’ out there , the latter word can range from a loose affiliation to those who actually co-write grant applications. In such a fast moving field, such virtual environments provide the opportunity for smaller groups with fewer resources and hence a slower pace of research to keep up with what’s happening at the ‘coal face’.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions…I’ll see if my pitiful sobbing attracts any further attention!


with the associated risk of ending up having conversations with myself, I thought I would update forum members regarding the original topic question.

The lack of responses (with one exception) leads me to believe (in order of increasing probability) that either;

a) I am alone… :o…and that this other person was really a figment of my imagination.

b) that the forum is bereft of people working in the area of stress response…which obviously has its advantages in terms of grant applications, publications, invites to conferences as a key note etc., but its limitations in terms of exchange of ideas.

c) That no one is interested or sees a need for such a listing.

I’d put my money on c), so I’ll let this post fade gracefully into the archives. Maybe, one day I’ll meet another stress response researcher…it’s a big world.

People are just shy! Don’t despair!

amazing…the phones haven’t stopped…I have been inundated with one reply, sorry 2 including mine. But, not discouraged, I will post both in the morning as I need sugar now (like the cockroach in MiB).


as promised in the last post, here are the summaries from the first two labs to reply;

  1. (Hekimi Lab)

Hey worm world,
We’re interested in studying oxidative stress and ROS signalling in worms and mice.
Projects in the lab include investigating the mysterious CLK-1 with respect to lipid metabolism/aging and understanding how beneficial ROS signalling can act to extend lifespan.

  1. (Hodgkinson-Hellwig Lab)

Hello fellow wormers,
Our lab studies adaptive changes in behaviour brought about by environmental stressors and we use C. elegans as our model.
The main project running in the lab at the moment focuses on characterising the mechanisms underlying the transgenerational effects of heat stress on progeny size.

My thanks to the Hekimi lab at McGill ( for starting the ball rolling. I’ll post our website in due course (when I’ve finished setting it up!).


Hello Sir,

I am a pre - doc student working with C. elegans.

But our lab, is working with different oxidative stress and all, mainly on mice. And within this big group we are a small team of 3 people trying to replicate the oxidative stress as experienced by worms.
We are using different mitochondrial inhibitors and also checking how in general, oxidative stress damages the axons.

I will tell my PI about this wonderful idea of yours. Hope she will contact you soon.


I got the Omega Man reference. Well played, Steve!

thanks David.