Ermolaeva Research Group

Stress Tolerance and Homeostasis:
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger

Maria Ermolaeva’s research group lays its research focus on counteracting cell death caused by physiological stress as a major cause of tissue dysfunction and organ failure during diseases and aging.

Emerging as a dangerous byproduct of normal metabolism or as a consequence of external inputs such as sunlight, high fat diet or environmental pollution, physiological stress becomes virtually inevitable. With age the stringency of metabolic regulation, immune regulation and organelle function progressively declines leading to age-related accumulation of stress-producing entities. Also stress-induced damage accumulates due to decline in repair capacities leading to eventual malfunction of organs.

Simple environmental stimuli induce systemic stress tolerance via enhanced protein quality control.
Ermolaeva: Systemic Stress Tolerance

Finding means of battling stress is therefore a major challenge having key scientific and clinical relevance especially in connection with aging. The research of our group is focused on discovery of novel genetic factors and chemical (or natural) compounds with capacity of improving cell survival and organ homeostasis under different stress conditions. As a long term goal we aim to convert our findings into therapies used to enhance tissue integrity and performance during normal aging and age-related degenerative diseases.

Tools and Methods

  • High throughput genetic screens in nematodes and murine primary cells
  • Protein quality control reporter systems
  • Stress assays
  • High throughput biochemistry
  • Functional studies in nematodes and mice (longevity and tissue functionality during aging and disease)
  • Inducible murine models of organ degeneration


Dr. Maria Ermolaeva

Maria Ermolaeva
Group Leader
+49 3641 65-6805

Eileen Stöckl
+49 3641 65-6815