Measuring decline of neuronal function with age to develop new therapies for age-related disease

Decline of neuronal function with age is a serious issue in human ageing and age-related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The nematode worm C. elegans is a powerful whole organism model for fundamental neuronal function. It possesses the main neurotransmitters found in humans, and it has been shown that these neurotransmitters affect specific behaviours of the worm that can be measured.

Magnitude Biosciences Ltd is a specialised Contract Research Organisation that support drug discovery and product development for a range of clients across the world. We use C. elegans to together with our innovative automated WormGazer™ technology to answer the research questions of our clients, particularly in field of health, ageing and disease. Our vision is to support the development of therapies that could prevent or treat age-released disease whilst establishing the use of C. elegans as an accepted in vivo model in industrial drug discovery.

Our small but quickly growing lab is based in NETPark Sedgefield in the North East of England. A short distance from Newcastle upon Tyne and the historic city of Durham.

  Learn more on Magnitude Biosciences's website here.

  Contact David WEINKOVE at

NERVSPAN project

This project aims to understand how these neuronal functions change with age, and how specific neurotransmitters are involved by designing and validating custom-made behavioural assays using our automated WormGazer™ technology.


In this project you will :
  • identify existing manual assays of neuronal function that will benefit from automation and will be of use to clients
  • prototype automated assays using the WormGazer™ to understand if the assay is a reliable readout of neuronal function, and is influenced by known neurotransmitters and related genetic pathways
  • validate assays with drugs known to influence neuronal function
  • work with the wider network to automate assays of use for drug discovery

Development of these automated assays will allow new discoveries in cellular neurobiology and provide a useful platform for developers of new therapies.