Embryos, Ageing & Epigenetics

1 PhD project offered in the IPP winter call 2023/2024

Scientific background

Ageing is commonly believed to start in adulthood. However, there is increasing evidence that organismic ageing begins already during embryonic development. For example, analyses of Down syndrome shows pronounced acceleration of ageing markers already in fetal stages, similar to adult tissues. This indicates that mechanisms of ageing may be productively studied during embryogenesis.

PhD project: Embryos, Ageing & Epigenetics

You will study the role of progeria genes, which lead to premature ageing, in frog (Xenopus) embryos. You will characterize cellular ageing and senescence in developing tissues using immunofluorescence microscopy. You will analyze epigenetic profiles in premature ageing embryos by Next Generation Sequencing, to understand the molecular network involved in these phenotypes. You will learn to analyze these Big Data by bioinformatic analysis. You will work in a team of developmental biologists and bioinformaticians. The successful candidate will have a strong background in Molecular or Developmental Biology to study ageing-related phenotype in embryos. You will apply techniques including embryo culture, microinjection, RNA in situ hybridisation, confocal microscopy, Next Generation Sequencing and bioinformatics data analysis.

If you are interested in this project, please select Niehrs (Ageing) as your group preference in the IPP application platform.

Publication relevant to the project

Han D, Schomacher L, Schüle KM, Mallick M, Musheev MU, Karaulanov E, Krebs L, von Seggern A, Niehrs C. (2019). NEIL1 and NEIL2 DNA glycosylases protect neural crest development against mitochondrial oxidative stress. eLIFE. 49044. Link


Contact details

Prof. Christof Niehrs