University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)/University of Groningen, Netherlands

Project description

The goal of the project is to establish cellular dynamics of regeneration in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. This animal has impressive regenerative properties, conferred by stem cells (neoblasts), which can continuously replace damaged cells and regenerate the whole body after amputation (see Our team has established genomics approaches and transgenesis methods in M. lignano (, which provide an opportunity to study in unprecedented detail how regeneration in M. lignano proceeds at the cellular level and how it is regulated. In this project, single-cell RNA sequencing of the blastema region at different time points during regeneration will be performed to establish signatures of various cell types appearing in the regeneration process. Next, neoblast-specific and tissue-specific M. lignano transgenic marker lines will be generated based on the established signatures. Live imaging of these transgenic lines will be developed and cell fate maps established.

Doctoral Candidate

Mattia Stranges

Hi, my name is Mattia Stranges, and I graduated in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Bologna, in December 2022, with a thesis on the role of TDRD proteins in female zebrafish fertility via RNA regulation in the lab of Prof. Ketting at IMB, Mainz. I will be joining the team of Prof. Eugene Berezikov at ERIBA (European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing), UMCG (University Medical Center Groningen) in Groningen. Here, I will be working on project 1 where I aim to establish cellular dynamics of regeneration in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. I decided to join the REGENERATE network because I have always had a very keen interest in the complex process of regeneration, as well as in aging. As for my interests outside of science, I have a keen interest in politics, and I am an active member of a political party. 

Mattia Stranges

Principal Investigator

Eugene Berezikov, PhD
Professor in Stem Cell Biology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen.

Group leader at the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, University Medical Center Groningen.

Research in the Berezikov group centers on the mechanisms of regeneration in flatworms and how this affects stem cells and ageing.

ORCID: 0000-0002-1145-2884
Phone: +31(0)50.361.73.00
Visit lab page

Eugene Berezikov


The UMCG is one of the largest academic hospitals in the Netherlands, and its medical faculty is part of the University of Groningen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, RUG). RUG consistently scores in the top 100 best universities in the world by various rankings, and as a best university in the Netherlands. UMCG and RUG emphasize internationalization and have more than 6000 foreign students of 120 different nationalities.

ERIBA (European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing) is a department of UMCG. Research and education at ERIBA are tightly interconnected, with PIs teaching numerous courses and students participating in a broad array of courses at UMCG/RUG. ERIBA hosts 12 PIs working on fundamental aspects of ageing using multidisciplinary approaches and multiple model organisms.