Investigations of Stress Responses at the Cellular Level, ECTS 60

This is an interdisciplinary project between biology and molecular biology


Stress is an increasing problem in the modern world. The global warming increases the risk of heat stress among animals and humans, and increasing use of chemicals, e.g. pesticides, additives in foods, fabrics and personal products imply a risk of chemical stress. Also, the modern lifestyle makes psychological stress one of the most frequent human diseases in the Western world.

Little is known about the cellular consequences of stress. However, the available evidence suggests that the cellular responses to stress are identical regardless the sources of stress.


The aim of the project is to elucidate the stress response pathways at the cellular level by using simple animal systems (Drosophila melanogaster, Danio rerio) and cultures of human cells as models.


By the studies we expect to identify markers for stress as well as potential targets for new medical treatment of stress. 


We use fruit flies, zebrafish and human cell cultures as models. These are subjected to stress by different means before they are frozen and the cellular response investigated using an in-house developed method called Rolling circle Enhanced Enzyme Activity Detection, which measures selected enzyme activities as response to stress.

During the project you will be involved in handling and maintaining living model organisms, applying molecular biological standard methods such as gel-electrophoretic analysis, fluorescent microscopy and cell culturing as well as manipulations of cells in culture.

Contact: Volker Loeschcke and Birgitta Knudsen

The project proposal has been submitted 12.06.20.