Professor David Lyons
Professor of Neurobiology
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Lister Institute Research Prize Fellow
University of Edinburgh
49 Little France Crescent
Telephone: +44 (0) 131 242 7986
Fax: +44 (0) 131 242 7978
David Lyons received his B.Sc. (Neuroscience, 1999) and Ph.D. (Developmental Biology, 2003) from University College London. He then undertook postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Developmental Biology with Prof. William Talbot (2004-2009). In 2009, Dr. Lyons joined the Centre for Neuroregeneration through a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. Dr Lyons was awarded a Research Prize from the Lister Institute in 2012 and a Senior Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust in 2014.
We use zebrafish to dissect the molecular and cellular basis of nervous system development. Our current focus is on elucidating mechanisms that orchestrate the formation of myelinated axons. Myelinated axons are essential for normal nervous system development and function, and disruption of the myelin sheath and associated axons is associated with many human diseases including Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Our lab uses zebrafish for two principle reasons: their amenability for live cell imaging and high-resolution cellular analyses, and their ability to be used to carry out large-scale genetic and chemical screens.
Zebrafish embryos are transparent and undergo rapid early development (myelin is formed from just two days after egg fertilization). These facts coupled with the relative simplicity of the early nervous system and the availability of transgenic lines that drive fluorescent reporters in a variety of cell types, make the zebrafish ideal for live in vivo imaging of entire developmental processes. We are currently using these approaches to study cell behaviour and cell-cell interactions during central nervous system myelination in vivo (see Publications below).
We are currently also embarking on a new forward genetic (gene discovery screen), using a transgenic reporter of myelination, to identify the molecular basis of central nervous system (CNS) myelination by oligodendrocytes in vivo, a process about which surprising little is known. In parallel we carrying out chemical compound based screens as an additional approach to identify the molecular basis of CNS myelination, and as part of collaborative drug discovery projects (see Collaborators below).
Our work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Lister Institute, the European Commission, the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society, Biogen, donation made through shift.ms, and studentships from FCT and MRC.
Intersectional Gene Expression in Zebrafish Using the Split KalTA4 System
Almeida R and Lyons DA.
Zebrafish (2015) doi:10.1089/zeb.2015.1086. (Front cover)
Adaptive Myelination from Fish to Man
Baraban M, Mensch S and Lyons DA.
Brain Research (2015) doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.10.026.
Actin Filament Turnover Drives Leading Edge Growth during Myelin Sheath Formation in the Central Nervous System
Nawaz S, Sánchez P, Schmitt S, Snaidero N, Mitkovski M, Velte C, Brückner BR, Alexopoulos I, Czopka T, Jung SY, Rhee JS, Janshoff A, Witke W, Schaap IAT, Lyons DA, and Simons M.
Developmental Cell (2015) 34(2):139-51
Synaptic Vesicle Release Regulates Myelin Sheath Number of Individual Oligodendrocytes In Vivo
Mensch S, Baraban M, Czopka T, Ausborn J, El Manira A, and Lyons DA.
Nature Neuroscience (2015) 18(5): 628-630
Myelin Membrane Wrapping Of CNS Axons By PI(3,4,5)P3-Dependent Polarized Growth at the Inner Tongue
Snaidero N, Möbius W, Czopka T, Hekking LH, Mathisen C, Verkleij D, Goebbels S, Edgar J, Merkler D, Lyons DA, Nave KA, Simons M.
Cell (2014) 156(1-2):277-90.
On the Resemblance of Synapse Formation and CNS Myelination
Almeida RG and Lyons DA
Neuroscience (2014) 276C: 98-108.
Individual Oligodendrocytes Have Only A Few Hours in Which to Generate New Myelin Sheaths In Vivo
Czopka, T, ffrench-Constant C, and Lyons DA.
Developmental Cell (2013) 25(6):599-609.
Axonal Selection and Myelin Sheath Generation in the Central Nervous System
Lyons DA and Simons M.
Current Opinions in Cell Biology (2013) 25(4):512-9.
Individual Axons Regulate the Myelinating Potential of Single Oligodendrocytes In Vivo
Almeida RG, Czopka, T, ffrench-Constant C, and Lyons DA.
Development (2011) 138: 4443-4450