Center for Neurogeneration
News and events

Latest News

23 July 2014
Grant success for the Becker group

The Becker group was awarded a £600k project grant from the BBSRC to investigate the role of the descending dopaminergic projection in spinal development and regeneration in the zebrafish. This is a collaboration with Prof Keith Sillar at the University of St. Andrews. Congratulations!

23 July 2014
Bridie Nelson is fundraising to support Lyons Lab

Bridie Nelson decided to write a fundraising poetry book when her son was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 24. Bridie is helping to raise money for research projects that will, in the future, benefit many of those with this and other neurological conditions. Together with her son chose to support Dr David Lyons and his team at the Centre for Neuroregeneration, who are doing such valuable research into myelin repair. Bridie's collection of short poems will suit every mood and all profits made from the sale of this book will be donated to Lyons Lab.

Together we can help to make this happen.'Whispers of the Soul' by Bridie Nelson can be bought on Amazon here.

 

21 March 2014
Dr. Michell Reimer
, Congratulations!

Dr. Michell Reimer has been offered a junior group leader position with tenure track at the CRTD / DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden - Cluster of Excellence, TU Dresden Germany. The Becker lab is sad to see Michell leave but very happy that he managed to secure this excellent position to set up his own research group and wishes him all the best and success for the future.

 

21 March 2014
Dr. HongYan Zhang and Dr. Dirk Sieger, Awarded from the Royal Society Research Grant

Dr HongYan Zhang and Dr Dirk Sieger have been given awards from the Royal Society Research Grant. Dr. Zhang has been awarded £14,416, this grant will allow acquiring equipment to enable fine dissections on the spinal cord and perform visually guided patch recordings on identified neurons. Dr. Sieger received £13,000 grant, this will go towards obtaining specialized equipment needed to establish a zebrafish model to study microglia glioma interactions in vivo.

 

20 March 2014
Congratulations to the CNR PhD Student winners at Neuroscience Day 2014

We are honored to announce that the Centre has won 4 of the 7 poster prizes at the Neuroscience Day 2014: Yujie Yang (Becker Lab) and Sigrid Mensch (Lyons Lab), as runners up; Rafael Almeida (Lyons Lab), as winner of the Development and Regeneration theme; and Melissa Cizeron (Grant Lab), as winner of the Cellular and Molecular theme and overall best poster winner. Congratulations everyone!

 

14 February 2014
Congratulations to fundraising couple

A couple pledge their civil partnership gifts to our Centre for Neuroregeneration to support research into neurodegenerative diseases. Paul Knott and Robert Smith's generosity is in memory of Paul's mother, Bobbie, who had multiple sclerosis. Anyone can donate via the Justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/Knott-Smith

 

08 January 2014
Dr. David Lyons awarded Senior Research Fellowship

Dave Lyons of the Centre for Neuroregeneration has been awarded a highly competitive Senior Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. Dave will be developing his very successful programme on myelination with a strong emphasis on live imaging and forward genetics in the zebrafish.

04 December 2013
PhD studentship funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK available

Dr Jill Fowler has been awarded a three year senior research fellowship funded by Alzheimer's Research UK (£319,949) which will commence in September 2014.  Dr Fowler will investigate how prolonged modest reductions in blood supply to the brain (chronic hypoperfusion) may drive cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.  She will investigate if boosting a novel antioxidant signalling pathway (nrf2) can protect against cognitive deficits and pathological damage caused by chronic hypoperfusion in experimental models.
The fellowship grant includes funding for a PhD studentship, prospective students who are interested please contact Dr Fowler (Jill.Fowler@ed.ac.uk) for more information please click here.

12 November 2013
Welcome to Professor Dies Meijer and Dr. HongYan Zhang

We are delighted to welcome Prof. Dies Meijer and Dr. HongYan Zhang to the Centre for Neuroregeneration.

Prof. Meijer joins us this month from the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam as a Professor in Developmental Neurobiology. He is an international leader in the field of myelination. Meijer Lab Webpage

Dr. Zhang has been appointed to a prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship and joins us from the School of Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of St Andrews. Her research is centered on the “Locomotor control and rhythm generation in simple animal model systems”. Dr. Zhang's Webpage

07 August 2013
Professor Catherina Becker, congratulations!

We are delighted to announce that Catherina Becker has been promoted to Professor of Neural Development and Regeneration and we would like to offer our warmest congratulations. The Becker lab investigate the development and regeneration of the zebrafish nervous system. Prof. Becker is also director of postgraduate training at CNR. For further information and some multimedia clips please go to: Becker Lab Webpage

18 July 2013
Transatlantic partnership to tackle neurodegenerative disease

Research into multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease is to be boosted with an international collaboration to further understanding of these illnesses.

Experts from the University of Edinburgh and the Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Biogen Idec will work together to seek greater insight into the cell processes behind these debilitating conditions.

This will include identifying drug compounds that could potentially be used as treatments.

The three-year collaboration will combine the University’s expertise in translational medicine – which develops laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients – with Biogen Idec’s strength in drug discovery and development.

Siddharthan Chandran, Professor of Neurology at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, said: “This landmark partnership is a brilliant example of academic-industrial collaboration in the field of discovery science. Only by better understanding the biological processes behind these devastating diseases can we hope to discover new and effective therapies.”

Clinicians and scientists, based at Edinburgh BioQuarter – Scotland’s flagship lifesciences project – will be involved in the project, which will draw on the University’s strength in neuroscience, stem cell research and regeneration.

The initiative is being funded by Biogen Idec, which is known for its strength in developing therapies for neurological disorders, particularly its portfolio of treatments for patients with multiple sclerosis.

“We have embraced academic collaborations as a part of our strategy to maintain a vibrant and innovative research organization and better understand the underlying biology of neurodegenerative disease. Our research partnership with the University of Edinburgh is an excellent example of this strategy,” said Ken Rhodes, Vice President of Neurology Research at Biogen Idec. “We are committed to continuing to improve the treatment of people with MS and motor neuron diseases, and this collaboration is expected to provide an in-depth portrait of their pathophysiology, and identify important new targets for potential therapies.”

 

26 June 2013
Zebrafish Scholarship Award

Sean Harbison (Imperial College London Medical Student) was awarded a prestigious WR Henderson Scholarship for summer undergraduate neuroscience work in the School of Biomedical Sciences. He will be working with Dr. Catherina Becker on the 'control of spinal neurogenesis in the zebrafish'.

 

25 June 2013
Horsburgh lab continued success

We are delighted to announce Alzheimers Research UK (ARUK) have awarded Dr. Jill Fowler, working with the Horsburgh lab, a 3 year Senior Research Fellowship. Prof. Karen Horsburgh congratulates Jill on what is an outstanding achievement in an incredibly competitive process.


Prof. Horsburgh also announces a 3 year collaboration with Prof. Raj Kalaria which is also funded by a project grant from ARUK. This is an exciting new collaboration which will also involve University of Edinburgh colleagues, Prof. Seth Grant and Dr. Rolly Wiegand

 

12 June 2013
Regenerating Hope: Siddharthan Chandran gives TED talk 

Prof. Siddharthan Chandran has given a talk today at TEDGlobal 2013 on the theme of "regeneration". TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading and each conference has a host of leading international thinkers and doers presenting their ideas. In his talk Prof. Chandran describes his vision for using stem cells to repair brains damaged by neurodegenerative disease. Please click here for the TED blog which outlines his talk and provides some images.

 

24 May 2013
Zebrafish research provides insight into motor neuron regeneration 

A discovery made in fish could aid research into motor neuron disease.
Scientists have found that a key hormone allows young zebrafish to develop and replace their motor neurons.
The discovery may aid efforts to create neurons from stem cells in the lab, and support further research into a disorder for which there is still no cure.


In humans, motor neurons control important muscle activities such as speaking, walking and breathing.
When these cells stop working, it causes difficulties in motor functions and leads to paralysis and death.
Whilst humans cannot replace motor neurons when they break down, zebrafish can, making them a good model for research.


"Our work sheds light on the way in which motor neurons develop and re-generate, and could inform research that leads to an increased understanding of motor neuron disease and spinal cord injuries."
Dr Catherina Becker
Reader in Neurobiology at the Centre for Neuroregeneration


The study, led by scientists at the University's Centre for Neuroregeneration, is the first to show that a signal released from the fish's brain - a hormone called dopamine - triggers the development and regeneration of cells in the spinal cord.
Dopamine acts on a mechanism - known as the hedgehog pathway - to increase the number of motor neurons formed in the developing spinal cord of zebrafish.
The dopamine signal was found to act in a similar way to replace damaged cells in adult zebrafish.
Dopamine was also found to drive the development of motor neurons in human embryonic stem cells, potentially paving the way for new and improved studies into motor neuron disease.


The work, published in the journal Developmental Cell, involved researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Helsinki and the Okazaki Institute for Integrative Biosciences, Japan.
It was mainly funded by the BBSRC, The Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at the University of Edinburgh and MND Scotland

- This article can be accessed free here or as a featured article with preview here: Kong J.H., Butler S.J., Novitch B.G. (2013) My Brain Told Me to Do It. Developmental Cell 25(5):436–438
- It was also chosen as "Editor's Pick" in Science Signaling: Gough NR (2013) Coordinating Neuronal Development Sci. Signal. 6(280): 136


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