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Epigenetic regulation of exophers (extracellular vesicles) biogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans model organism

   Laboratory of Animal Molecular Physiology

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  Prof MT Turek, Prof RS Szczesny  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

There are three main extracellular vesicles (EVs) categories: exosomes, microvesicles, and exophers. While EVs belonging to the first two categories are well characterized, the third class of EVs, exophers, was discovered very recently. It was shown that under proteotoxic stress, Caenorhabditis elegans neurons remove proteins aggregates, damaged mitochondria, and lysosome into neighboring tissues via exophers what enables neurons to maintain their proper functionality during neurotoxic stress and aging. Moreover, excretion of dysfunctional mitochondria by murine cardiomyocytes using exophers was recently reported, as well as their presence in human heart tissue. Finally, we have shown that C. elegans muscular exophers promote reproductive fitness by transporting yolk proteins from muscle cells to the germline. However, despite clear biological significance, regulation of exophers extrusion phenomenon is still poorly characterized. Thus, the main objective of the proposed PhD programme is to gain a deep comprehension of the epigenetic regulation of exophers formation. Specifically, we aim to 1. Characterize epigenetic inheritance of exophers formation. 2 & 3. Investigate long non-coding RNAs’ and miRNAs’ involvement in exophers regulation and function. We will perform our analysis in a model organism C. elegans because of its excellent suitability for investigating cellular processes as well as usefulness in cell biology studies. In our project, we will take advantage of the state-of-the-art methods which involve microscopic analysis, short- and long-read RNA sequencing, small RNA sequencing, biochemical approaches, and genetic anipulations.

Visit TurekLab web to learn more about us:

Full description of the offer and the recruitment procedure: FULL OFFER

How to apply:

All applicants should apply as described in FULL OFFER.


For project-specific and informal queries, please contact Michal Turek [Email Address Removed] add "PhD position" to the message's subject.


The application deadline is 05-06-2023. Selected candidates will be interviewed between 06-06-2023 and 21-06-2023. Don't wait; apply now. For details on the application procedure and scholarship, see FULL OFFER

Funding Notes

Project is funded for 4 years with a scholarship o 3800 PLN (net per month). Project title: Epigenetic regulation of exophers biogenesis, National Science Center, UMO-2021/42/E/NZ3/00358


Turek, M. et al. EMBO Rep. e52071 (2021);
Melentijevic, I. et al. Nature 542, 367–371 (2017)
Nicolás-Ávila, J. A. et al. Cell 183, 94-109.e23 (2020)
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