Andersen, Erik C., PhD



Andersen, Erik C., PhD


Associate Professor


Office Phone

(847) 467-4382

Office Fax

(847) 491-4461


Molecular Biosciences


Cook Hall 3-125


Areas of Research

Computational, Development, Learning & Memory, Mechanisms of Drug Action, Neurobiology of Disease, Signal Transduction

NU Scholar Profile

Recent Publications on PubMed

Current Research

Current Research

Humans differ in behavioral and neurophysiological traits because of each individual’s unique genetic makeup and the effects of their particular environment. We use classical, quantitative, and molecular genetics in the roundworms Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis briggsae, and Pristionchus pacificus to identify the genes that vary within populations. The identities of these genes and the mechanisms for how they cause phenotypic differences are of critical importance to understand how individuals vary in specific behaviors. The nematode is a powerful experimental platform for many reasons, including its completely described and invariant neuronal wiring diagram, complex behavioral repertoire, high-level of conservation with humans, its ease of manipulation, and a powerful genetic and genomic toolkit to connect gene function to tissues and cells in an intact organism. In addition to genetics, we use new sequencing technologies, high-throughput phenotyping assays, and other genomic tools to determine the molecular mechanisms for how genetic variation causes phenotypic differences. The laboratory has broad research interests, such as behavioral adaptations to microbial stresses, quiescence and swimming assays, and aging-related behavioral decline. These traits are regulated by conserved pathways, and we hope that these studies will ultimately provide data that are essential for more accurate disease prediction and diagnosis along with more personalized treatments.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Natural variation in a chloride channel subunit confers avermectin resistance in C. elegans.
Ghosh R, Andersen EC, Shapiro JA, Gerke JP, Kruglyak L. Science. 2012 Feb 3;335(6068):574-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1214318. PMID: 22301316

Chromosome-scale selective sweeps shape Caenorhabditis elegans genomic diversity.
Andersen EC, Gerke JP, Shapiro JA, Crissman JR, Ghosh R, Bloom JS, FĂ©lix MA, Kruglyak L. Nat Genet. 2012 Jan 29;44(3):285-90. doi: 10.1038/ng.1050. PMID: 22286215

A polymorphism in npr-1 is a behavioral determinant of pathogen susceptibility in C. elegans.
Reddy KC, Andersen EC, Kruglyak L, Kim DH. Science. 2009 Jan 16;323(5912):382-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1166527. PMID: 19150845