• Research


    Our lab seeks to dissect the interplay between redox processes and age-dependent changes in tissue function in the nematode C. elegans, in order to shed light on the association between the dysregulation of the cellular redox environment and many human diseases of aging.


    Our research focuses on redox processes that span increasing levels of organismic structure—from the molecular to the cellular and organismic levels. We study how oxidation affects the function of proteins and signaling pathways at the molecular level, using molecular biology and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. We probe how protein oxidation is regulated at the cellular and tissue levels, using genetically-encoded protein oxidation sensors that we monitor via ratiometric fluorescence microscopy in live animals. We use system-biological tools to integrate how redox control affects organismic traits, including lifespan.


  • Opportunities

    We are recruiting curious, enthusiastic and hard working budding scientists to join our team!

    Graduate students

    Graduate students from Biology, Bioengineering, and other graduate programs at Northeastern University are eligible to join the lab. We have several rotation projects available, which can be tailored to the specific interests of the student. Please contact Javier if you are interested.

    Postdoctoral Fellows

    We are looking for candidates interested in combining experimental and theoretical approaches to study the regulation of protein oxidation at molecular and cellular levels. Please send Javier your CV, a copy of a first-author manuscript or draft, and a cover letter describing your research experience and future goals.

    Undergraduate students

    Undergraduates interested in using molecular-genetic approaches to study the mechanisms that regulate lifespan in the nematode C. elegans should contact Javier to discuss possible projects. Please submit your CV, transcript and a brief paragraph detailing why you want to work in our lab.

  • Lab blog

    We just published our first preprint in bioRxiv: Age-dependence and aging-dependence: The case of neuronal loss and lifespan in a C. elegans model of Parkinson's disease. By Javier Apfeld and Walter Fontana. The main point of this work is to call attention to untested assumptions regarding the...
    We are so happy that Alex has found a permanent home in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Childrens Hosptial. He will be working under the direction of Drs. Robert D'Amato and Mehrdad Khajavi, using zebrafish to study angiogenesis.
    Congratulations to our undergraduate students Hannah Tam, Julian Stanley, Sarah Brennan and Stephanie Stumbur, each of whom received one of these awards! Honors Early Research Assistantships offer undergraduate Honors students the opportunity to work as research/lab/production/studio assistants...
    We are so happy to move to our fully renovated new lab space! It is right next door to our temporary space.
    Congratulations to our undergraduate students Hannah Tam and Julian Stanley, each of whom received one of these awards! The Provost’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards offer financial and academic support to Northeastern students seeking to conduct original projects of their...
    The Genetics Society of America selected Javier for their latest New Faculty Profile.  As described by the GSA, these  profiles showcase GSA members who are establishing their first independent labs.
    Congratulations to our undergraduate student Hannah Tam for this award!   The Provost’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Awards offer financial and academic support to Northeastern students seeking to conduct original projects of their own design. The goal of the program is to...
    Congratulations to our undergraduate student Julian Stanley for this award!   The Scholars Independent Research Fellowships (SIRFs) are designed to support original, student-initiated independent research, creative performance, and project making in close collaboration with a faculty mentor....
    Science writer Thea Singer talked with Javier Apfeld about our lab's research.
    Biology graduate student Jodie Norris has joined the lab. Welcome Jodie!
  • People

    Lab Members

    Javier Apfeld

    Assistant Professor

    PhD in Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco, 1999

    BSc in Biology, MIT, 1994

    William Heath

    Research Technician

    BS in Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015

    Jodie Norris

    Graduate Student

    BS in Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida, 2015

    Frank Servello

    Graduate Student

    BS in Biotechnology, Framingham State College, 2017

    Julian Stanley

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Hannah Tam

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Abigail Vogelaar

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Stephanie Stumbur

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Sarah Brennan

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Natalie McGowan

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Sean Johnsen

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Whitney Vullemier

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Paula Hornstein

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Orna Lynch

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

    Pranav Prabhala

    Undergraduate Student

    Northeastern University

  • Lab Alumni

    Stephanie Su

    Undergraduate Volunteer 2017

    Undergraduate student at Northeastern University

    Destiney Kirby

    REU Student 2017

    Undergraduate Student, Arizona State University

    Kumael Jafri

    High School Student 2017

    Undergraduate Student, Northeastern University

    Brian Nguyen

    Graduate Rotation Student 2016

    Graduate student in Veronica Godoy's lab, Northeastern University

    Perla Castañeda

    Graduate Rotation Student 2016

    Graduate student in Erin Cram's lab, Northeastern University

    Harim Kim

    Summer Student 2016

    Medical Student at Seoul National University

    Alex Schiffer

    Intern 2016

    Research Assistant in Robert D'Amato's lab, Boston Childrens Hosptial

  • Publications

    What can we learn about human disease from the nematode C. elegans?

    Apfeld J and Alper S. Methods in Molecular Biology (2018).


    Age-dependence and aging-dependence: Neuronal loss and lifespan in a C. elegans model of Parkinson's disease

    Apfeld J* and Fontana W. Biology (2017).

    *Co-corresponding and co-last author.

    [article | supplement | movie | bioRxiv ]

    The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    Stroustrup N, Anthony WE, Nash ZM, Gowda V, Gomez A, López-Moyado IF, Apfeld J*, Fontana W. Nature (2016).

    *Co-last author.

    [article | supplement | tables | accompanying news and views]

    Regulated spatial organization and sensitivity of cytosolic protein oxidation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Romero-Aristizabal C, Marks DS, Fontana W, Apfeld J*. Nature Communications (2014).

    *Co-corresponding and co-last author.

    [article | supplement]

    An insulin-to-insulin regulatory network orchestrates phenotypic specificity in development and physiology

    Fernandes de Abreu D, Caballero A, Fardel P, Stroustrup N, Chen Z, Lee K, Keyes WD, Nash ZM, López-Moyado IF, Vaggi F, Cornils A, Regenass M, Neagu A, Ostojic I, Liu C, Cho Y, Sifoglu D, Fontana W, Lu H, Csikasz-Nagy A, Murphy C, Antebi A, Blanc E, Apfeld J*, Zhang Y, Alcedo J, Ch'ng Q. PLoS Genetics (2014).

    *Co-corresponding and co-last author.


    The Caenorhabditis elegans Lifespan Machine

    Stroustrup N, Ulmschneider BE, Nash ZM, López-Moyado IF, Apfeld J*, Fontana W. Nature Methods (2013).

    *Co-corresponding and co-last author.

    [article | supplement]

    Pre-2013 publications

    Hulme SE, Shevkoplyas SS, McGuigan AP, Apfeld J, Fontana W, Whitesides GM. Lifespan-on-a-chip: microfluidic chambers for performing lifelong observation of elegans. Lab on a Chip (2010).


    Alper S, McElwee MK, Apfeld J, Lackford B, Freedman JH, Schwartz DA. The Caenorhabditis elegans germ line regulates distinct signaling pathways to control lifespan and innate immunity. J Biol Chem (2010).
    Hulme SE, Shevkoplyas SS, Apfeld J, Fontana W, Whitesides GM. A microfabricated array of clamps for immobilizing and imaging elegans. Lab on a Chip (2007).
    Bordone L, Motta MC, Picard F, Robinson A, Jhala US, Apfeld J, McDonagh T, Lemieux M, McBurney M, Szilvasi A, Easlon EJ, Lin SJ, Guarente L. Sirt1 regulates insulin secretion by repressing UCP2 in pancreatic beta cells. PLoS Biology (2006).
    Apfeld J*, O’Connor G, McDonagh T, DiStefano PS, Curtis R. The AMP-activated protein kinase AAK-2 links energy levels and insulin-like signals to lifespan in elegans. Genes and Development (2004). * Corresponding author.
    Francis R, McGrath G, Zhang J, Ruddy DA, Sym M, Apfeld J, Nicoll M, Maxwell M, Hai B, Ellis MC, Parks AL, Xu W, Li J, Gurney M, Myers RL, Himes CS, Hiebsch R, Ruble C, Nye JS, Curtis D. aph-1 and pen-2 are required for Notch pathway signaling, gamma-secretase cleavage of betaAPP, and presenilin protein accumulation. Developmental Cell (2002).
    Arantes-Oliveira N, Apfeld J, Dillin A, Kenyon C. Regulation of Lifespan by germ-line stem-cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. Science (2002).
    Apfeld J, Kenyon C. Regulation of lifespan by sensory perception in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature (1999). Accompanying News & Views in Nature.
    Apfeld J, Kenyon C. Cell nonautonomy of elegans daf-2 function in the regulation of diapause and life span. Cell (1998). Featured on the cover of Cell, with accompanying Minireview.
    Finer-Moore JS; Liu L; Birdsall DL; Brem R; Apfeld J; Santi DV; Stroud RM. Contributions of orientation and hydrogen bonding to catalysis in Asn229 mutants of thymidylate synthase. Journal of Molecular Biology (1998).
    Curtis D; Apfeld J; Lehmann R. nanos is an evolutionarily conserved organizer of anterior-posterior polarity. Development (1995).

  • Links to publications

    Google Scholar

    ORCID iD

  • Social

  • Contact

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  • Lab information


    j.apfeld [at] neu.edu




    Lab: (617) 373-2120

    Office: (617) 373-4495


    Lab: Room 409

    Office: Room 413C


    Mugar Life Sciences Building

    Write or ship

    134 Mugar Life Sciences Building

    360 Huntington Ave.

    Boston, MA 02115

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