Characterize inter-individual aging in C. elegans

Co-Supervision of Victor Cat internship
Francesconi Team

Cat Victor

Mirko Francesconi

Laurent Modolo


January 17, 2024

Project holder

Mirko Francesconi


Victor Cat (M2 student), Mirko Francesconi (PI)

Biological problem

In an isogenic clonal population raised in a controlled environment, a large variability in lifespan is observed. Indeed, lifespan can range from 10 to 30 days between the short-lived and long-lived worms of the colony.


What are the causes of inter-individual variation in aging in isogenic clonal populations? Does-it rely only on the speed of aging or are there different paths of aging ? What are the differences at the molecular level between short and long-lived-individuals ? When do differences emerge ?


To address this question we will use an aging time series of bulk worms, single individual worms and single cells, integrating the data together to try to elucidate the sources of inter-individual variation in aging at the molecular and cellular level.

Maturity and perspectives

This project is a recently started collaboration between Francesconi’s team and Nicholas Stroustrup team at CRG Barcelona. The aim of this collaboration is to systematically identify variable independent processes that predict individual aging speed and path from transcriptomic data and then select appropriate markers for these processes and build reporters for in vivo validation. The next step is then to use these reporters to understand how and when variability in these processes arise and when this variability is predictive of aging speed, with the long term goal of building a multivariate predictive stochastic model and model of aging in C. elegans.



Support for computation in the cluster and for the development of a reproducible pipeline using nextflow.


Victor Cat (M2 student) will be full-time on the project. Mirko Francesconi (PI) will supervise the project. Meeting with the hub could be on a weekly basis.