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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Alexandre Benedetto supervises 7 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Alexandre Benedetto

Senior Lecturer

Alexandre Benedetto

Furness Building



Research overview

I wish to understand how animals and their microbiome communicate throughout life to maintain homeostasis. To probe such interactions, I study C. elegans and its adult gut microbiota under challenging conditions (infection, neurodegenerative diseases, stress, ageing). Combining genome-wide phenotyping screens, RNAseq and in chip time-lapse imaging, I aim to map the genetic network that governs worm gut-bacteria interactions (BBSRC: BB/S017127/1). In parallel, I also study the regulation of abrupt death in C. elegans in a bid to identify interventions that can halt or delay tissue decay and organismal death (Wellcome Trust: 214076/Z/18/Z). Lastly, I develop and apply microfludics and microfabricated devices for the quantitative study of cancer development and progression in cell and tissue culture models (NWCR). My lab heavily relies on live fluorescence microscopy and spectrometry approaches, using genetically encoded biosensors and reporters of cellular activities in bacteria, worms and mammalian cell cultures.

PhD supervision

I can generally welcome PhD and MSc by Research students interested in studying: (1) the spatiotemporal dynamics of gut host-microbiota interactions in C. elegans, (2) the neuromodulation of organismal death in C. elegans, (3) the role of intercellular variability in cancer progression (in collaboration with Dr. Richard Mort). (4) cell bioenergetics in cancer and ageing (collaborations with Richard Mort and Aneta Stefanovska) Specific projects on offer for joining the lab in 2021-2022: (1) Genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensors for in vivo live monitoring of cell bioenergetics during C. elegans ageing. (2) Genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensors for in vivo live monitoring of skin cell bioenergetics during development, cancer and ageing (collaboration with Richard Mort). (3) Investigating the neuromodulation of organismal death with genetically-encoded fluorescent biosensors in C. elegans. (4) A fluorescent microbiota model for live monitoring of gut-microbe interactions during C. elegans ageing. For initial enquiries, students should email me at: a.benedetto@lancaster.ac.uk, referring to a specific MRes or PhD application in the email subject. CVs welcome.

Current Teaching

BIOL100, 231, 300, 400 - Academic tutoring

BIOL364 - Biology of Ageing (Module organiser)

BIOL383 - Innovations in Biosciences (Module organiser)

BIOL387/389/390 - 3rd year lab project supervisor

BIOL461 - Fundamental Research Skills

BIOL466/469/470 - Msc/Msci lab project supervisor

SSM2 - Special Study Module for 2nd year medical students (Convenor)

UG/PG Biomedical and further study career adviser

Research Grants

2019 - NWCR Equipment Round. £50,000 (+£56,000 LU match-funding). Spinning Disc Confocal Microscope for superfast multichannel live imaging. Joint PIs Mort, R, Benedetto, A.

2019 - North West Cancer Research Development Fund. £15, 030. Investigating the thermosensitivity of cancer cell division dynamics: toward cancer thermotherapies? Joint PIs: Mort, R, Benedetto, A, Fielding, A.

2019 - Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council £741,000 (+£20,000 LU match-funding). Integrated multiomics of host-bacterium interactions during C. elegans gut infections. PI Benedetto A.

2018 - Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Sciences. £100,000 (+£11,000 LU match-funding). Neuromodulation of death in C. elegans. PI Benedetto A.

2018 - NWCR Capital Equiment Fund. £18,000 (+18,000 LU match-funding). A microfluidic temperature control platform for cancer biomedicine. PI Benedetto A.


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