Javier Apfeld

Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Assistant Professor,  Biology



  • 617.373.4495

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Research Focus

Our goal is to determine how the brain regulates aging and resilience to stress.

Honors & Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award
  • HHMI Predoctoral Fellowship

Research Overview

Our goal is to determine how the brain regulates aging and resilience to stress.

We use the nematode C. elegans as a tractable organism to investigate how the brain regulates aging and resilience at cellular, tissue, and organismic levels.

We leverage new enabling technologies, including biophysically-calibrated protein-oxidation microscopy and an automated Lifespan Machine using scanners.

Our work is cross-disciplinary, combining molecular genetics, quantitative microscopy, mathematical modelling, and engineering.

A better understanding of how the brain regulates aging and resilience in C. elegans may ultimately lead to a new class of therapies for aging-dependent human diseases.

Selected Research Projects

  • Intercellular Regulation of Protein Oxidation during Aging
    • – Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation
  • Modulation of Organismic Resilience by the Microbiome
    • – Co-Principal Investigator, Northeastern Tier 1

Selected Publications

  • J.A. Schiffer, F.A. Servello, W.R. Heath, F.R.G Amrit, S.V. Stumbur, M. Eder, O.M. Martin, S.B. Johnsen, J.A. Stanley, H. Tam, S.J. Brennan, N.G. McGowan, A.L. Vogelaar, Y. Xu, W.T. Serkin, A. Ghazi, N. Stroustrup, J. Apfeld, Caenorhabditis elegans Processes Sensory Information to Choose Between Freeloading and Self-Defense Strategies, Elife, 2020
  • J.A. Stanley, S.B. Johnsen, J. Apfeld, The SensorOverlord Predicts the Accuracy of Measurements with Ratiometric Biosensors, Scientific Reports, 2020
  • Servello FA, Apfeld J. The heat shock transcription factor HSF-1 protects Caenorhabditis elegans from peroxide stress. Translational Medicine of Aging, 2020
  • J. Apfeld, S. Alper, What Can We Learn About Human Disease from the Nematode C. elegans?, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2018
  • J. Apfeld, W. Fontana, Age-Dependence and Aging-Dependence: Neuronal Loss and Lifespan in a C. elegans Model of Parkinson’s Disease, Biology (Basel), 2017
  • N. Stroustrup, W.E. Anthony, Z.M. Nash, V. Gowda, A. Gomez, I.F. López-Moyado, J. Apfeld, W. Fontana, The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing, Nature, 2016


Apr 11, 2020

FY21 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 19 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY21 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 13 different projects.

Jan 27, 2020

Spring 2020 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Congratulations to the COE student recipients of the Spring 2020 PEAK Experiences Awards. The PEAK Experiences Awards are a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys. BASE CAMP AWARDS Developing HPLC Methods for Characterizing […]

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