Michael Brand

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Michael Brand is head of the CRTD Research Center for Regenerative Therapies / Cluster of Excellence (www.crt-dresden.de) at Dresden University, Germany. He received a Diploma in Biology from the University of Cologne, a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Harvard University and a Doctorate in the Natural Sciences from the University of Cologne. During his doctorate and postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco he studied fly neurogenesis. In Janni Nüsslein-Volhards department at the MPI in Tübingen he was part of the team of scientists pioneering large scale genetic screens in zebrafish. As a Professor of Developmental Genetics at Dresden University, he studies development and regeneration of the zebrafish brain and eye, using cellular analysis, stem cell technologies, biophysics, forward and reverse-genetic functional studies, and recombineering technology.

Stephen Ekker

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Stephen C. Ekker received two bachelor of science degrees (Genetics and Developmental Biology, Electrical Engineering) from the University of Illinois, and PhD from Johns Hopkins on the biochemistry of Hox gene action. Post-doctoral work studied the biochemistry and function of hedgehog proteins. At the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ekker was the founding Director of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Transposon Research (now called the Center for Genome Engineering). He is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota, USA) and Director of the Mayo Addiction Research Center. Dr. Ekker is Editor-in-Chief of the Zebrafish journal. The Ekker laboratory has pioneered the use of transposons, morpholino antisense oligonucleotides and targeted genome editing in zebrafish using custom nucleases, the latter suited to functional testing of sequence variants of unknown significance. The Ekker lab is focused on the betterment of human health using the zebrafish as a model system.

Zhiyuan Gong

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Dr. Gong is currently a professor at Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. He completed his PhD study in 1987 at McGill University, Canada, where his thesis project was on sea urchin developmental biology. Subsequently he worked on transgenic fish at University of Toronto. He became a faculty member in Singapore in 1995. Dr. Gong was one of the earliest scientists for developing GFP transgenic zebrafish and his laboratory has generated numerous transgenic lines for developmental analyses and environmental toxicology, including currently marketed GloFish as the first genetically modified pet. In recent years, his lab has been focused on, in addition to fish toxicogenomics, zebrafish models in liver cancer by using both transgenic and genomic tools.

Joan Heath

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Joan Heath is a laboratory head in the Development and Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to her current appointment, she spent 18 years at the Melbourne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and she continues to be a Member and receive funding from this Institute. Joan’s primary research goal is to improve outcomes for patients with colon cancer. She turned to zebrafish to discover genes that are indispensable for intestinal development, arguing that such genes are also likely to be critical for the development and progression of colon tumors. Her laboratory’s positional cloning of a collection of zebrafish intestinal mutants has drawn attention to a group of essential cellular genes (encoding transcription factors, rRNA and mRNA processing factors and nuclear pore components) that are required for the rapid growth of the digestive organs during zebrafish development. Her lab is currently determining whether these genes represent bona fide targets for novel cancer therapies using zebrafish and mouse cancer models, and analysis of human cancer transcriptomes.

Clarissa Henry

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Clarissa Henry is an Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine. Her research program uses genetics, microscopy, and mathematical modeling/image analysis to elucidate mechanisms underlying muscle development. In particular, her lab focuses on how cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix mediates muscle development. The Henry lab also studies how the extracellular matrix changes in muscle diseases, currently focusing on the Dystroglycanopathies. After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Utah (1995), she received a PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington (2000). Drs. Merrill Hille and Mark Cooper were co-advisors of her thesis which studied somite formation in zebrafish. Clarissa then did a post-doc (funded by the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science) in Dr. Sharon Amacher’s lab at the University of California Berkeley, where she developed an interest in muscle morphogenesis. Clarissa joined the faculty at the University of Maine in 2004 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.

 

 

Philip Ingham

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Philip Ingham is Toh Kian Chui Distinguished Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and Research Director at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore. A graduate of Cambridge University, he pioneered the elucidation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in Drosophila whilst working at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) and was the first UK-based researcher to use the zebrafish as a model for developmental genetics. In 2004 he established the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics at the University of Sheffield, the mission of which is to exploit zebrafish for human disease modeling. He is a member of EMBO and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and the Royal Society. He was recipient of the Genetics Society of Great Britain Medal in 2005 and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2007.

Koichi Kawakami

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Dr. Koichi Kawakami is a professor of Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics and Department of Genetics, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Sokendai), Mishima, Japan. Dr. Kawakami received his PhD from University of Tokyo (Molecular Biology). Dr. Kawakami developed a vertebrate transposon system, applied it to genetic methods in zebrafish including BAC transgenesis, gene trapping, enhancer trapping and the Gal4-UAS system, and also applied it to transgenesis in other model vertebrates and gene transfer in culture cells. Dr. Kawakami is now studying functional neuronal circuits in the zebrafish brain by calcium imaging and behavioral genetics.

David Langenau

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David Langenau is the Director of Molecular Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.  He is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Principal Investigator at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.  His research focuses on uncovering mechanisms that drive progression and relapse in pediatric tumors. Using novel, transgenic zebrafish models of pediatric sarcoma and leukemia that mimic human malignancy, his group has undertaken studies to discover novel therapies by addition of drugs to the water and imaging tumor growth in live zebrafish.  Moreover, his group has utilized detailed imaging studies to visualize tumor cells in live animals and assess how cellular heterogeneity drives continued tumor growth.  Capitalizing on insights gained from our zebrafish models of cancer, his findings are commonly extended to human disease.


Graham Lieschke

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Graham Lieschke is an Australian clinician/scientist. His current appointments are as Clinical Haematologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and within Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and as Professorial Fellow / NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne. Since 1997, his research laboratory has been at the forefront of using zebrafish models to understand white blood cell development, function and disease. Current projects use zebrafish models to study the transcriptional regulation of myeloid development and diseases involving leukocytes such as inflammation, infection and leukemia. Prof Lieschke has held fellowships from the Cancer Council of Victoria, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Wellcome Trust and NHMRC and significant research funding from NIH, NHMRC and ARC. He has held multiple leadership roles in the international zebrafish research and hematology communities. He is also an accomplished organist and conductor, specializing in the music of JS Bach.


Annemarie Meijer

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Annemarie Meijer is  professor of immunobiology and head of the Animal Sciences & Health research cluster of the Institute of Biology at Leiden University. Her group developed zebrafish models for immunodeficiency and has made extensive use of RNA sequencing to increase insight into the host immune response genes that are activated at specific stages of infection. Currently, her main research lines focus on the connection between pathogen recognition and autophagic host defense, and on the chemokine signaling axes that determine macrophage migration and functional properties. Potential targets for novel host-directed therapies against infectious diseases have recently emerged from both the autophagy and chemokine signaling projects. Annemarie Meijer has been the scientific coordinator of FishForPharma, a European training network on zebrafish models for human infectious disease research and drug discovery, and is currently training officer in ImageInLife, a European network on bioimaging. She is also a management committee member of Transautophagy, a network for multidisciplinary research and translation of autophagy knowledge.


Marina Mione

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Dr. Mione graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, trained as a neurologist and received a PhD in Neurobiology from University College London. After postdoctoral work at University of California at San Francisco, on her return to U.K, she adopted the zebrafish for her studies on neural development and disease. In 2005 she moved to the Institute of Molecular Oncology in Milan and developed zebrafish models for the study of cancer cell biology. Dr. Mione’s work focuses on understanding early events in melanoma, myeloid leukemia and glioma development, including cancer initiating cells, mechanisms of transformation, epigenetic regulation, immune responses and cancer metabolism. From 2012 to 2015, she was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). From March 2016 she is Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Trento, Italy.


Christian Mosimann

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Christian Mosimann has a long-standing interest in the molecular control of cell fates during development and disease. He obtained his PhD with Konrad Basler at the University of Zürich, where Christian combined Drosophila genetics, human cell culture tools, and protein interaction studies to elucidate the mechanisms of beta-catenin-mediated Wnt target gene transcription.

To study cell fate mechanisms in a vertebrate model, Christian then moved for his postdoctoral training to the zebrafish lab of Leonard I. Zon at the Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. In the Zon lab, Christian generated several tools for the zebrafish model, including ubiquitous Cre/lox recombination tools and site-directed transgenesis. He also isolated a collection of unique gene-regulatory elements and transgenic reporter strains to monitor and probe the early emergence of key vertebrate cell fates. Christian’s transgenics work enabled tracking of the lateral plate mesoderm to investigate the interplay of early cardiovascular cell lineages, and of neural crest reporters that revealed the origin of melanoma tumors.

In his lab at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Zürich, Christian’s team investigates the evolutionary and genetic origins of early mesoderm patterning and how defects in the involved mechanisms drive mesodermal cells into congenital disorders and tumors. The Mosimann lab combines novel transgenic zebrafish reporters, live imaging, and genome engineering to gain a deeper understanding of the origins of the fundamental cell fates in the embryo and how defects in these processes can cause disease.


Victoriano Mulero

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Victoriano Mulero is Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Murcia. He obtained his degree in Biology in 1993 and his PhD in Fish Immunology in 1997 at the University of Murcia, both with honour awards. After a postdoctoral stay at the Department of Immunology of the University of Glasgow (UK) on the study of macrophage iron metabolism, he joined the Department of Cell Biology and Histology of the University of Murcia as assistant lecturer. His research interest is on fish immunology with emphasis on phagocyte and cytokine biology. More recently, his laboratory is using the zebrafish as a model for biomedicine in the field of inflammation, immunity and cancer, with particular interest in the role of TNFR signalling. More information of the lab can be found at: http://www.um.es/nisoft/victor1.htm

Liz Patton

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Liz Patton is a Programme Leader at the MRC Human Genetics Unit and a Reader at the University of Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre at the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. Her research investigates the basis for melanocyte development, as well as melanoma biology, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer. In particular, her lab uses chemical and genetic approaches in zebrafish to identify new and targetable pathways that govern melanocyte development from the neural crest. The lab is also investigating how such pathways are dysregulated in melanoma and could serve as targets for therapy. Dr Patton is a Handling Editor at Disease Models & Mechanisms, an editorial board member on Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, an elected member of the Young Academy of Scotland at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and an elected Council Member of the European Society of Pigment Cell Research. Dr. Patton’s research is funded by the Medical Research Council and by an European Research Council Consolidator Award.


John Rawls

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John F. Rawls is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine.  He also serves as Director of the Duke Center for the Genomics of Microbial Systems (GeMS).  His research program at Duke utilizes conventional and gnotobiotic zebrafish models to understand how microbial communities (microbiota) assemble in the intestine and contribute to host digestive physiology and immunity.  He also uses the zebrafish system to investigate developmental and environmental mechanisms underlying the formation and function of adipose tissues.  After completing his undergraduate education at Emory University (1992-1996), he received a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from Washington University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Johnson (1996-2001) studying genetic control of pigment cell development and regeneration.  He then trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Jeffrey Gordon at the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University (2001-2006) where he pioneered the zebrafish as a model for studying host-microbiota interactions.  Prior to joining Duke, he was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006-2013).


Kirsten Sadler Edepli

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Dr. Kirsten Sadler Edepli is a cell biologist and geneticist who’s research focuses on the molecular basis of liver development and two important liver diseases, liver cancer and fatty liver disease. Her group studies the epigenetic regulation of liver developmental and liver cancer and the relationship between the protein secretory pathway, activation of the unfolded protein response and fatty liver disease. Dr. Sadler obtained a Masters in Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School (1994) and a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology at Harvard University (1998) and then joined the faculty at Bosphorus University in Istanbul/Turkey as an NSF International Research Fellow (1998-2001). From 2002-2005 she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Hopkins’ laboratory at MIT where she screened for zebrafish mutants with liver disease and growth defects. She started her lab as assistant professor in Departments of Medicine and of Developmental and Regenerative Biology at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York in 2006 where she was the first zebrafish researcher, and expanded the facility to include investigators from multiple departments. She was promoted to associate professor in 2013.  In 2015, she joined the faculty of New York University in Abu Dhabi as an associate professor with tenure in the Program in Biology. She is the recipient of awards from the American Gastroenterological Association, March of Dimes, Breast Cancer Alliance and the NIH. She is an advocate for women in science and served on the Diversity Council of The Mount Sinai School of Medicine for 3 years, is an Associate of the Women in Cell Biology and is the faculty advisor for the Women in STEM Student Group at NYU Abu Dhabi.


David Traver

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Dr. Traver performed graduate work in the laboratory of Irving Weissman at Stanford University where he developed mouse models of myeloid leukemia and identified myeloid-restricted progenitor subsets. He then joined the laboratory of Leonard Zon at Harvard University where he characterized the cellular biology of the zebrafish hematopoietic system. In his own laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, he is focused upon how the embryo generates hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, and how the progeny of these cells provide immunity.


Richard White

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Richard White, M.D., Ph.D, is a physician-scientist interested in basic mechanisms underlying cancer evolution and metastasis.  He clinically trained in Internal Medicine at Yale, followed by Medical Oncology training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. His postdoctoral work in Leonard Zon’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School contributed to the establishment of the zebrafish as a new model system in cancer. In his laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he is using the zebrafish to understand basic mechanisms of metastasis, the major cause of all cancer mortality. His lab focuses on three central components of tumor progression: 1) how do lineage identity programs in the cell of origin impact metastatic behavior, 2) how do cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) promote or inhibit metastasis, and 3) how does the genome of the cancer cell evolve over time and space during metastasis?  The zebrafish is a novel platform for addressing these questions because it allows for high-throughput, high-resolution in vivo imaging of cellular behavior, and is highly amenable to unbiased screening approaches.  Prior work from his laboratory has demonstrated that fundamental mechanisms uncovered in zebrafish melanoma have direct applicability to the human disease.  He ultimately aims to use the zebrafish to discover basic mechanisms of cancer cell metastasis in order to improve the management of patients with disseminated disease.