Swammerdam – David Lyons


SWAMMERDAM LECTURE - Friday November 17th 2023 at 16:00

Prof. dr. David Lyons

Studying myelinated axon biology in vivo using zebrafish

AffiliationCentre for Discovery Brain Sciences; Edinburgh, UK
Date / timeFriday, November 17th, 2023 at 16:00
HostMaarten Kole

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Colloquium room
Meibergdreef 47, Amsterdam

The lecture is followed by a reception

Myelinated axons are essential to nervous system formation, health and function. We use the zebrafish as a model organism to study myelinated axon biology in health and disease, due to the suitability of zebrafish for detailed live imaging of cell behaviour, cell-cell interactions and neural circuit function in vivo over time, as well as their genetic conservation with mammals and experimental tractability, and their amenability for scalable drug screening, including in disease-relevant paradigms. In this presentation I will provide I will describe ongoing work aiming to understand the mechanisms of activity-regulated myelination. I will also give an overview of our efforts focussed on better understanding how the axons of different neurons grow in diameter and how this influences neural circuit function. Finally I will present data that aims to provide insight into the cell biology of demyelination, asking how myelin sheaths are actually removed from axons following damage.


David did his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, which he followed up with a doctorate in Professor Jon Clarke’s lab at University College London. David was an early adopter of  zebrafish as a model organism, employing them in his postdoctoral studies in Professor Will Talbot’s lab at Stanford University to discover genes required for myelination in the developing nervous system. He moved to Edinburgh in 2009 to start his own group, which investigates many aspects of myelin biology and disease, and is currently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Deputy Director of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences and Associate Director of the MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research.


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