Erik C. Andersen Assistant Professor of Molecular Biosciences

Research Interests

We differ in our susceptibilities to cancer, diabetes, and other common diseases because of each individual’s unique genetic makeup and the effects of their particular environment. The greatest challenge in genetics today is to read an individual’s genome and make predictions about disease and drug susceptibilities. The Andersen laboratory uses quantitative and molecular genetics in nematode roundworms, like Caenorhabditis elegans, to identify the genes that vary within populations to cause differences in these traits. Nematodes are a powerful experimental platform for many reasons, including a high-level of conservation with humans, ease of manipulation, a powerful genetic and genomic toolkit, a large wild strain collection that contains variation comparable to that of humans, and the ability to connect gene function to tissues and cells in an intact organism. In addition to genetics, we use new sequencing technologies, high-throughput robotic phenotyping assays, and other genomic tools to determine the molecular mechanisms for how genetic variation causes phenotypic differences.

Selected Publications

Natural variation in a single amino acid substitution underlies physiological responses to topoisomerase II poisons. Zdraljevic S, Strand C, Seidel HS, Cook DE, Doench JG, and Andersen EC. PLoS Genetics. 2017 July 12;13(7):e1006891.

Natural Variation in the Distribution and Abundance of Transposable Elements Across the Caenorhabditis elegans Species. Laricchia KM, Zdraljevic S, Cook DE, and Andersen EC. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2017 May 9; epub before print.

Correlations of Genotype with Climate Parameters Suggest Caenorhabditis elegans Niche AdaptationsEvans KS, Zhao Y, Brady SC, Long L, McGrath PT, and Andersen EC. G3. 2017 January 1;7(1):289-298.

CeNDR, the Caenorhabditis elegans natural diversity resourceCook DE, Zdraljevic S, Roberts JP, and Andersen EC. Nucleic Acids Research. 2017 January;45(D1):D650-D657.

The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere LengthCook DE, Zdraljevic S, Tanny RE, Seo B, Riccardi DD, Noble LM, Rockman MV, Alkema MJ, Braendle C, Kammenga JE, Wang J, Kruglyak L, Félix M-A, Lee J, and Andersen EC. Genetics. 2016 September 1;204(1):371-383.

View all publications by Erik C. Andersen listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.