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School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Academic Staff

Dr David Weinkove

Contact Dr David Weinkove (email at

C. elegans research lab

We address biological problems using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. In this system we can carefully control conditions and use large numbers. We combine genetics, biochemistry and microscopy to understand basic biological processes, such as ageing and nutrition. 

Animals have co-evolved with microbes, so understanding this interaction is vital to understanding animal biology. In the lab, C. elegans is cultured with the live microbe Escherichia coli as a food source. We study both E. coli and C. elegans to understand the animal: microbe interaction. Inhibiting folate synthesis in E. coli increases C. elegans lifespan without slowing the growth of the bacteria or the worm. Our current hypothesis is that E. coli and other microbes synthesis more folate than they need for growth and this excess folate causes the bacteria to be detrimental to the animal. We are testing this hypothesis and exploring its relevance to mammals.  See interview in BMC Biology

In another project, we are using C. elegans to make proteins from parasitic nematodes that are of potential therapeutic value. The intention is to use C. elegans for bioprocessing and reduce the use of lab rodents. See video 

How to pronounce Weinkove (courtesy of cousin Ben).

Current lab members (in order of appearance)

David Weinkove (follow on Twitter: @dweinkove)

Adelaide Raimundo

Bhupinder Virk

Jie Jia

Sushmita Maitra

Kasia Zmarzly

Razan Bakheet

Claire Maynard

Past lab members (other than 3rd year undergraduate project students)

Andrea Bender, Marjanne Bourgois, James Pauw, Nikolin Oberleitner, Gonçalo Correia, Natasha Chetina, Inna Feyst, Harry Blandy, Marta Cipinska, David Bradley, Shona Lee, Noel Helliwell

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • C. elegans
  • E. coli
  • Ageing
  • Host:microbe interactions
  • Genetics
  • Metabolomic and metabolic modelling approaches
  • Microbial folates
  • Microbial metabolism in nutrition
  • Phosphoinositide signalling


Articles: magazine

Journal papers: academic